Fireside Chat: The John Merck Fund’s Ruth Hennig on Environment and Health in the Trump Administration

March 24, 2017
2:00 pm US Eastern Time

Listen to Recording


What do you think the 2016 US Presidential election results mean for environmental health over the coming four years? What might be the impact on research funding and priorities? Chemical regulation? Children’s health? Community health?

On this call Michael Lerner, PhD, President of Commonweal, and Ruth Hennig, MS, Executive Director of The John Merck Fund, discussed the implications of the recent US election results for the field of environmental health, including both challenges and opportunities. Following the discussion between Michael and Ms. Hennig, we opened the call for a conversation with participants.

Featured Speaker

RuthHennigRuth Hennig, MS, has worked in the environmental field for over 25 years, first at the Conservation Law Foundation in Boston and now as the Executive Director of The John Merck Fund, where she oversees program-related special initiatives, including Healthy Babies Bright Futures.  Ms. Hennig currently serves on several NGO boards: Baraka Community Wellness, which is changing lives in Boston’s low-income communities with evidence-based fitness and nutrition programs; and League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, which promotes civic engagement and education on behalf of environmental issues. 

Ms. Hennig was also a founding board member of Issue One, which seeks to end the corrosive impact of special interest money on politics and policymaking, and a former board chair at SmartPower and the New England Grassroots Environment Fund, two organizations that she helped create. In service to the philanthropic community, Ruth was Beldon Fund trustee and has served in management roles at Environmental Grantmakers Association, the Consultative Group on Biological Diversity, and the Health and Environment Funders Network. Ms. Hennig received her master's degree from Boston University.

Ms. Hennig lives in Boston, where she spends as much time outside with her Labradoodle as possible.  Photography, movies, travel and politics are her special interests.

The call was moderated by Michael Lerner, PhD, President of Commonweal and Vice-Chair of CHE. The call lasted for 60 min and was recorded for archival purposes.

This call is part of a new series "Fireside Chat". In this series we explore challenges and opportunities for environmental health under the new Trump Administration. Our focus will be a conversation between CHE leaders, environmental health science and policy experts and call participants.