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Public Health Scientist

     Many areas in which the federal government issues regulations involve questions of public health. These include the safety of our food supply, the level of pollutants in the air or water, and the occupational exposure to chemicals of workers on the job. In developing regulations, agencies often must make assessments of the public health implications of their actions in order to better understand the benefits of specific regulatory options and to help develop appropriate regulatory strategies.

     The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), an office within the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is seeking an experienced public health scientist to help in its oversight of agency regulatory policy. OIRA resides in the Executive Office of the President and is responsible for reviewing regulations from agencies of the executive branch under Executive Order 12866. OIRA staff assess the regulations, work with the agencies to improve them, and advise Administration decisionmakers. An important part of this function is an assessment of the benefits and costs of agency regulatory actions. Adequately evaluating the problems that federal regulation is designed to solve and analyzing the impacts of various regulatory solutions often involves issues of public health science. An assessment of public health implications of regulation, for example, plays an important role in policies developed by the Environmental Protection Agency, the Food and Drug Administration, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, as well as many other agencies.

     The public health scientist will work with OIRA and agency staff in evaluating the epidemiological evidence in areas in which agencies wish to regulate. This will involve evaluation of agency assessments of the relationship between hazards and human health, and on the scientific work that agencies need to do to assess the need for regulation. The public health scientist will also advise senior policy officials within OMB and the White House on regulatory and information policy issues and participate in the development and execution of Presidential initiatives. Finally, the public health scientist will work on comparing the epidemiological standards used by different agencies and ensuring that consistent sound science is a hallmark of governmental regulatory policy.

     Candidates should have a strong background in epidemiology and public health policy. Education or experience in public policy is desirable. Graduate training (M.S., Sc.D., or Ph.D.) and work experience is expected. Working in OIRA also requires excellent written and oral communication skills, and the ability to provide well-reasoned and accurate analysis in a high-pressure environment.

     Interested candidates should contact Stuart Shapiro at (202) 395-7316 or email him at