Dr. Jacqueline MacDonald Gibson is an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She conducts interdisciplinary research on the quantification of risks due to environmental contamination and on the quantitative comparison policy options for controlling environmental risks. As an example, she is the principal investigator for a study to assess public health risks due to environmental contamination in the United Arab Emirates and to develop a national strategy to reduce those risks.
Dr. MacDonald Gibson earned a dual Ph.D. degree from the Department of Engineering and Public Policy and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in 2007. Prior to returning to school in 2003 to study for her Ph.D., she was a senior engineer at The RAND Corp., a nonprofit public policy research organization. While at RAND, she served as liaison to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. She also previously was associate director of the Water Science and Technology Board, a unit of the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, a nonprofit organization that advises Congress and the federal government on science policy matters. In these previous positions, she led a range of studies of issues at the interface between environmental science and public policy. Examples of studies she has led included assessment of options for improving potable water service to small U.S. communities, evaluation of regulatory requirements for the remediation of contaminated groundwater, assessment of research priorities for new environmental remediation technologies, evaluation of research on alternative methods for detecting and cleaning up landmines, and evaluation of risk assessment methods for sites contaminated with unexploded military ordnance. She has given briefings on these and other topics to a variety of federal officials, members of Congress and their staffs, and institutional advisory boards.
Dr. MacDonald Gibson earned an M.S. degree from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and a B.A. in mathematics from Bryn Mawr College. Dr. MacDonald Gibson is the mother of three sons, one foster son, and two stepsons: Elliott (age 18), Jonathan (age 15), Peter (age 9), Andrew (age 17), Tyler (age 17), and Grant (age 13). Her main hobbies include long-distance running, cycling, and reading fiction.