Harvard Public Health Review Winter 2007
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In Memoriam, Joseph Harrington, professor and former Chair of Environmental HealthJoseph Harrington Joseph Harrington, professor of environmental health engineering in the Department of Environmental Health at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and a former chair of the department from 1982 to 1986, passed away on October 9, 2006 at the age of 69. He was also the Gordon McKay Professor of Environmental Engineering in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

A member of the Harvard faculty for 42 years, Harrington focused his energies on sanitary and environmental engineering, mathematical economics, and public health policy making. In addition to heading his department, he served as director of the Physical Sciences and Engineering Program, was the founding director of the Master of Science Program in Health Policy and Management, and held a number of other leadership positions within HSPH.

Throughout his career, Harrington lent his expertise to environmental and public health initiatives around the globe, advocating the use of mathematical programming models to find a wide range of solutions to resource development and management issues. He studied the implications of tropical diseases in water resource management in developing countries, and worked on environmental resource projects in Nepal, the Philippines, Pakistan, Russia, and China, among others. Closer to home, starting in 1960, he participated in the groundbreaking Harvard Water Program, which helped guide the United States’ water resource planning by integrating engineering and cost-benefit and system analyses. He was also one of three technical experts appointed in 1983 to assist in the clean-up of Boston Harbor.

Harrington is survived by his wife, Mary Alice Harrington, and his daughters Karen Basinas and Beth Harrington.

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