UC Berkeley Alumna to Receive Heinz Award

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UC Berkeley alumna Lynn Goldman, a former assistant administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency during the Clinton administration, was announced as one of this year's 10 Heinz Award recipients Tuesday for working to protect people from toxic chemicals.

Established in 1993 by Teresa Heinz, the former wife of the late heir to the ketchup company, Sen. John Heinz, and wife of Sen. John Kerry, the $100,000 award recognizes individual achievements in various categories including arts and humanities, public policy and technology, following Sen. Heinz's philosophy that "individuals have the power and the responsibility to change the world for the better."

This year's 10 recipients - which include Cary Fowler, the executive director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust and founder of the Global Seed Vault - were selected for their efforts to enact global change. Recipients were nominated by an anonymous council and reviewed by a jury appointed by the Heinz Family Philanthropies.

Robert Spear, a professor in the UC Berkeley School of Public Health who has worked with Goldman, said her contributions to the advancement of chemical and pesticide policies in the food industry, which reflect her commitment to public health and the health of women and children, led to the banning of the dangerous toxin, aldicarb, this year.

"She has actively pursued her interests in contributing both politically and academically," Spear said.

After earning degrees from UC Berkeley's College of Natural Resources and the UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program, Goldman served in several positions at the California State Department of Health Services before becoming a professor at Johns Hopkins University for 12 years.

Goldman, now serving as dean of George Washington University's School of Public Health and Health Services, said several UC Berkeley professors, including late professor emeritus of health administration and planning Henrik Blum, "provided the essential framework" for her knowledge of public health and scientific processes.

Goldman played a crucial role in encouraging recognition of the harmful effects of toxins during her tenure in the state's health services department by investigating incidents such as the 1985 outbreak of watermelon poisonings related to the insecticide aldicarb, according to UCLA chair of environmental health sciences Richard Jackson, who worked with Goldman in the department.

In addition, her work for the EPA during the Clinton administration - "one of the hardest jobs there is," according to Jackson - addressed children's susceptibility to pesticides through reforms to the 1996 Food Quality Protection Act, which lowered acceptable pesticide levels in foods.

Goldman's plans for the future include pursuing further pesticide control measures and an overall shift in the focus of environmental health issues.

"We are at a point in history where we are challenged to be able to focus on some longer-term goals in terms of protecting the environment, not only for ourselves, but for our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren," Goldman said.

The Heinz Award ceremony will take place Nov. 15 in Washington, D.C.


Contact True Shields at [email protected]

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