Alison Cullen joined the Evans School faculty at University of Washington in 1995. Her research involves the analysis of risks to human health and the environment, decision making in the face of risks which are uncertain or vary across populations, and the application of value of information and distributional techniques.
At University of Washington she is also an adjunct professor in the School of Public Health and serves on the Boards of the Program on Climate Change and the Environmental Management Certificate.
Cullen previously served on the faculty of the Harvard University School of Public Health. She is the 2014 recipient of the Society for Risk Analysis Distinguished Educator Award, the 2003 recipient of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Special Recognition in the Field of Air Toxics, the 2002 Chauncey Starr Award from the Society for Risk Analysis, and the 1998 Outstanding Young Scientist Award from the International Society of Exposure Assessment. Cullen is also a past president of the Society for Risk Analysis and was a 2007–08 visiting professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zürich, Switzerland.
Outside of academia, Cullen is active in risk and exposure assessment projects in the U.S. and internationally. She has held positions in the Water Quality Branch of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and served as a technical consultant to many groups, including the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the State of Washington’s Department of Ecology, the City of Seattle’s Office of Sustainability, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Ministry of Public Health in the Slovak Republic.
Cullen serves on the Health Effects Institute Special Committee on Unconventional Oil and Gas Development, the U.S. EPA Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee, and previously served on the U.S. National Academy of Sciences Committee on the Coeur d’Alene Superfund site from 2003–05, as well as the National Center for Atmospheric Research's Uncertainty Initiative from 2000–04.
Cullen holds a Sc.D. in Environmental Health Management and a MS in Environmental Health Science, Exposure Assessment, and Engineering from Harvard University School of Public Health. She also holds a BS in Civil/Environmental Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).