Image of Joe Fitzgerald

Joseph Fitzgerald, MS, MPH

Contributing Scholar

Expertise: Public Health, Radiation Protection


Professional Profile

Joseph Fitzgerald is a Contributing Scholar at the Center for Biosecurity . He leads his own consulting practice, and is a senior associate in public health preparedness for the Homeland Security Program at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Mr. Fitzgerald’s research focuses on public health response to mass radiation exposure emergencies as well as preparedness for public health emergencies and community resilience. 

From 2001 to 2007, he supported the Center for Biosecurity on issues addressing national preparedness for public health emergencies, including bioterrorism and natural epidemics, and was an Associate Editor of its journal, Biosecurity and Bioterrorism. He was also a principal in a project at the Federation of American Scientists to develop professional training curriculum for managing dual-use biological research.

Mr. Fitzgerald also supported key ORNL Community and Regional Resilience Institute (CARRI) initiatives such as “Building Resilience in Community Health: A Memphis Template” in 2008-2009 and the “Memphis Regional Technology Integration Initiative” in 2004-2005. Both of these innovative programs were piloted in Memphis, Tennessee, and were directed at working with community healthcare leaders, stakeholders, and organizations to evaluate how they contribute (and can contribute) to a community’s resilience to major catastrophic events.

For the past decade, Mr. Fitzgerald has also managed a major technical support program for the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health in reconstructing radiation doses for generations of atomic weapons workers to enable their federal compensation.

Before embarking on his consulting career in 2001, Mr. Fitzgerald held a series of senior executive positions at the Department of Energy in health and safety culminating in his tenure as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health and Safety from 1991-2001. Groundbreaking initiatives were accomplished including the only federal policy for chronic beryllium disease, a complete revamping of radiation protection requirements, and comprehensive occupational safety and health programs. Before that, he held various management positions including Director of Nuclear Safety Performance and Director of Nuclear Safety Policy. He began his career as a health physicist at the Environmental Protection Agency.

Mr. Fitzgerald received BS and MS degrees in civil engineering from Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, and a master of public health degree in health physics from the University of Minnesota.