Celeste Monforton, Dr.P.H.,  M.P.H.

Celeste Monforton, Dr.P.H., M.P.H.

Celeste Monforton is a Professorial Lecturer in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health.

Protecting worker safety is not only a professional commitment for Dr. Monforton, it is a personal passion. And she has turned that passion into action, scouring the fine print in public records to discover that U.S. Labor Department officials were preparing to gut longstanding worker protections, and meeting surreptitiously with miners to learn how company officials concealed asbestos and other hazards when federal inspectors were coming.

Dr. Monforton remains an advocate and a troubleshooter, working both within and outside the system. She entered graduate school after more than a decade of government service in the Labor Department, initially as a legislative analyst at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and then at the Mine Safety and Health Administration, where she was policy advisor and chief of staff to the Assistant Secretary. Following the Sago Mine disaster of 2006, which killed 12 coal miners, she paused her doctoral research to assist the investigation launched by the West Virginia governor.

Dr. Monforton joined SPHHS in 2006. As an Assistant Research Professor, she won praise for showing her students environmental and occupational health in action, taking them to visit a sewage treatment plant, to don protective firefighting gear at a firehouse, and to remove plastics and styrofoam from the Potomac River. She is a regular contributor to the "Pump Handle," a blog known as "a water cooler for the public health crowd."

Dr. Monforton is currently living in Texas, continuing her work in occupational health and maintaining her ties to GW by serving as a professorial lecturer.


Bachelor of Arts (Liberal studies), University of Michigan, 1990
Master of Public Health (Environmental and Occupational Health), School of Public Health and Health Services, George Washington University, 2004
Doctor of Public Health, School of Public Health and Health Services, George Washington University, 2008


Dr. Monforton's research interests focus on occupational injury and illness epidemiology, prevention strategies, regulatory policies and the precautionary use of evidence to reduce population risk to environmental hazards.

Community Service

Dr. Monforton is a volunteer activist with United Support and Memorial for Workplace Fatalities, an advocacy group for family members of workers killed on the job. The nonprofit organization seeks to build a strong activist voice for reforms to prevent work-related injuries, illnesses and fatalities. She also chairs the Occupational Health and Safety Section of the American Public Health Association.