Harold D. Cox, MSSW

Associate Professor, Community Health Sciences
Harold Cox
(617) 358-4025hcox@bu.edu
Talbot – 227E
View full profile at BUMC


Harold Cox is Associate Dean for Public Health Practice and Associate Professor of Community Health Sciences at Boston University School of Public Health. Trained as a social worker, he has extensive experience in direct services, administration, and advocacy in a variety of public health care settings, including developmental disabilities, HIV/AIDS, and governmental public health. Dean Cox directs the new Activist Lab at BUSPH, which engages the school and community in real world public health. The Lab seeks to educate, innovate and advocate. The three principle areas of work are: health of residents of public housing, gun violence, and training the governmental health workforce. At BU, Dean Cox has managed the MPH practicum program, and co-directed the MPH/MSW program. He has served as PI and program facilitator for emergency preparedness initiatives, and governmental training program. Cox teaches two courses: “Public Health Response to Emergencies” and “Cases in Public Health Management.” Dean Cox is an appointee to the Massachusetts Public Health Council and the board of the Boston Public Health Commission. He is member of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Cross Jurisdictional Sharing Advisory Committee. He is the past president of Massachusetts Public Health Association, past president of the Multicultural AIDS Coalition, past chair of the Boston AIDS Planning Council, and former member of DentaQuest Oral Health Foundation. Dean Cox is a recipient of numerous awards, including the American Public Health Association's Milton and Ruth Roemer Prize for Creative Local Public Health, the Rebecca Lee Award for outstanding commitment to public health from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the Hilliard award for outstanding achievement from Massachusetts Health Officers Association. He received the Paul Revere Award for outstanding public health service from the Massachusetts Public Health Association. Prior to joining Boston University, Harold Cox served for 10 years as chief public health officer for the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and was responsible for managing all aspects of the city's health department. During his tenure, Dean Cox led the process to make Cambridge a non-smoking city. He helped to organize Clean Air Works, a regional initiative in 19 Massachusetts towns to promote smoke-free work environments. This initiative was instrumental in moving Massachusetts to become the 3rd smoke-free state in the country. He worked with the Cambridge Kid’s Council and Agenda for Children to develop programs addressing literacy and out-of-school-time. He developed a regional public health consortium to coordinate emergency preparedness and disaster response. He also started the Cambridge Advanced Practice Center for Emergency Preparedness, which developed policies and program implementation for 27 communities surrounding Cambridge. Dean Cox also worked as Director of Client Services for the AIDS Action Committee, and in various capacities serving individuals and families with mental retardation.

Other Positions

  • Associate Dean, Public Health Practice, Boston University School of Public Health


  • University of Texas at Austin, MSSW
  • University of North Texas, BA

Classes Taught

  • SPHPH718
  • SPHPH858


  • Published on 11/1/2012

    Hyde J, Arsenault L, Waggett J, Mills B, Cox H, MacVarish K, Fried L. Structural and organizational characteristics associated with performance of essential public health services in small jurisdictions: findings from a statewide study in Massachusetts. J Public Health Manag Pract. 2012 Nov; 18(6):585-94. PMID: 23023284.

    Read at: PubMed

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