About EPA

Harold Zenick, Ph.D., Director of EPA’s National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory (NHEERL)

Dr. Harold Zenick is Director of EPA’s National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory (NHEERL).  Dr. Zenick earned a Ph.D. in Physiological Psychology from the University of Missouri (Columbia).  He also completed a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Toxicology at the University of Cincinnati. Before coming to EPA, Dr. Zenick spent 13 years in academia with the Department of Environmental Health in the University of Cincinnati Medical School, preceded by an appointment at New Mexico Highlands University. 

Dr. Zenick serves on the Executive Board to the National Toxicology Program and as EPA’s liaison to NCER-ATSDR’s Board of Scientific Counselors.  He co-chairs two cross-EPA workgroups, one on the Futures of Toxicity Testing, the other on Biomonitoring.  He has received numerous awards, including the EPA Office of Research and Development Statesmanship and Diversity awards.  He is a two-time recipient of the prestigious Presidential Meritorious Executive Rank Award. 

Dr. Zenick has participated on a number of prominent national and federal work groups and currently serves as co-chair of federal Pharmaceuticals in the Environment Work Group within the Toxics and Risk Subcommittee under the auspices of the Office of Science, Technology and Policy. Within the Society of Toxicology, he has served as President of three specialty sections, the most recent being the Occupational and Public Health Specialty Section, and was elected to the Awards Committee. 

Dr. Zenick has authored or co-authored over 100 publications.  His current interests are in integrating human health and ecological risk assessment, strengthening the linkages between environmental and public health agendas and agencies, and applying emerging computational, informational and molecule sciences to improve toxicity testing and risk assessment practices.

Throughout his career, Dr. Zelnick has been involved all across EPA.  In 2003, he led a management review of EPA’s Office of Criminal Enforcement, Forensics and Training, which significantly reframed the mission and operation of that office.  He has served since 2001 as Executive Director of EPA’s Environmental Financial Advisory Board, and in 2004 led EPA in establishing the Integrated Consortium of Laboratory Networks with ten other Cabinet Departments and agencies.  In 2007-2008, he completed a two year detail as National EPA Liaison to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, building relationships and strengthening collaborative activities between EPA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  He has been very active on EPA task forces and in promoting innovation within the Agency.

Dr. Zelnick has a B.A. degree from Wake Forest University and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Political Science from the Johns Hopkins University.  He has been recognized as a Meritorious SES Executive, and received EPA’s Gold Medal for his work on the Clean Air Act Amendments and Silver Medal for work on state-federal relations.