Dr. Whitehead currently serves as Environmental Justice Officer of the Division of Emergency and Environmental Health Services at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Environmental Health. Dr. Whitehead has been with CDC for 12 years. Dr. Whitehead is also an Adjunct Professor in the Political Science Department at Clark Atlanta University (CAU), Spelman College, and Atlanta Metropolitan State College, where she teaches Environmental Justice, Environmental Policy, and American Government.
Dr. Whitehead received her B.S.H. and M.P.H. degrees in health science and public health from the University of North Florida and Mercer University School of Medicine, and Ph.D. in Political Science from Clark Atlanta University.
In her prior position at CDC, as a Public Health Advisor, she was instrumental in collaborating environmental justice organizations to reduce and mitigate environmental health disparities experienced by underserved populations.
Dr. Whitehead has presented various national lectures on environmental justice, including Tulane University’s Anna Julia Cooper Project on Gender, Race, Class, and Politics in the South, led by former MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry. Other national speaking engagements have included the Harvard School of Public Health, Emory University, various federal governmental agencies, the National Conference of Black Political Scientists, and others. Dr. Whitehead is the lead author and co-author on several environmental justice publications, and was honored in 2013 by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a visionary and innovative leader in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) field.
Research expertise includes environmental justice, public/urban policy, theory and methods, and American government. Dr. Whitehead has a wonderful 14-year-old son, Kelly Thompson II.