Alison Cullen

Professor of Public Affairs
Sc.D., Harvard University
(206) 616-1654


Alison Cullen joined the Evans School faculty in 1995. Her research involves the analysis of environmental risks, decision making in the face of risks which are uncertain or vary across populations, and the application of value of information and distributional techniques.

Cullen was a 2007–08 visiting professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zürich, Switzerland, and is active in environmental exposure assessment projects in the U.S. and internationally.

She serves on the board of the University of Washington’s Environmental Management Program. She is also the past president of the Society for Risk Analysis.

She previously served on the faculty of the Harvard University School of Public Health. She is also 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.

Outside of academia, Cullen 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.

She also served on the U.S. National Academy of Sciences Committee on the Coeur d’Alene Superfund site from 2003–05, and was an affiliate scientist on 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).

Areas of specialization 

Decision Analysis
Environmental Health Risk Assessment
Environmental Policy
Quantitative Methods