Shelley Anne Hearne ’83


Citation for Shelley Anne Hearne, 2013 Common Good Award recipient.

"Shelley Anne Hearne of the Class of 1983 and champion of public health and the public interest, over the course of a distinguished career that shows no signs of have reached its apogee, you have served – and continue to serve – the Common Good across a broad spectrum of concerns.

A native of Washington, DC, and a graduate of the Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart in Princeton, New Jersey, at Bowdoin you were president of Delta Sigma fraternity, co-captain of the lacrosse team, a member of the basketball team, and a double major in Chemistry and Environmental Studies, graduating with honors.  During your undergraduate years you exhibited the qualities of leadership, courage, and intellectual rigor that would be your hallmark.   

Following your graduation you earned a master of arts degree in Public Health and then a doctorate in Environmental Health Sciences from Columbia University.  With each step in your remarkable career you have expanded your efforts to serve the Common Good, first as a scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council, as Acting Director of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Pollution Prevention, and then as founding executive director of the Trust for America’s Health.

As executive director and managing director at the Pew Charitable Trusts you led the Pew Environmental Health Commission and built the Pew Health Group’s advocacy program from a staff of four to a staff of 80.  As a visiting professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Chair of the American Public Health Association’s Executive Board, and Vice President of the Council on Education for Public Health, you have helped to shape the future of the public health field.

In your testimony before Congress you have drawn on scientific data and a clear understanding of the consequences of action or inaction to bring into sharp focus issues such as pandemic flu preparedness, the use and misuse of antibiotics in food supply, safety in food production and the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, health tracking, obesity, national school meal standards, and safe and fair credit card practices.  Your effectiveness may be measured in the passage of landmark legislation, such as the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010, and the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act of 2012.

Your achievements have been recognized with the Association of Schools of Public Health’s Delta Omega Curriculum Award for innovative public health teaching in 2004, the Senator Frank Lautenberg Award for lifetime achievement in public health advocacy, and the American Public Health Association’s Distinguished Service Award for Environmental Health in 2006.

On behalf of the Board of Trustees of Bowdoin College it gives me great pleasure and pride to present to you the 2013 Common Good Award in this, your 30th Reunion year."