Kirk R. Smith
Professor, Global Environmental Health; Director, Collaborative Clean Air Policy Centre

Prof. Smith’s research focuses on environmental and health issues in developing countries, particularly those related to health-damaging and climate-changing air pollution from household energy use, and includes field measurement and health-effects studies in developing countries as well as development and application of tools for international policy assessments. He also develops and deploys small, smart, and cheap microchip-based monitors for use in these settings. He now works primarily on developing policies to reduce pollution exposures in India.

Current Projects:

  • Founder and director of the Collaborative Clean Air Policy Center, Delhi, formed among five institutions. It works to develop policies to reduce air pollution exposures of all kinds in India 
  • Analysis of field data to evaluate contribution of household fuels to ambient air pollution in India 
  • Field investigations of ways to accelerate usage of clean fuels among pregnant women in India 
  • Epidemiologic exploration of clean fuels and child health in Nepal 
  • Demonstration of clean electric heating systems in Mongolia. 

Selected Publications:

See kirkrsmith.org


  • Member, US National Academy of Sciences; Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement; Heinz Prize in the environment. 
  • Chair of National Academies’ Research Council Committee on Exposure Science for the 21st Century, 2012 
  • International Advisory Boards, Schools of Environmental Science and Engineering and Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University 
  • Member, Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, NRC/NAS (2006-2012) 
  • Global Comparative Risk Assessments (2004, 2012)– Ambient air pollution, household air pollution (chair), and secondhand tobacco smoke 
  • Co-lead Author on health impacts for the IPCC 5th Assessment, WGs II (2014)
  • Extensively shared Nobel Peace Prize 2007 with IPCC 3rd and 4th assessment teams
Policy for reducing total air pollution exposures in developing countries; Health effects of air pollution exposures, particularly health effects in women and children from household air pollution due to household fuels; The development of smart, cheap, portable electronic monitors for exposure assessment in developing countries; Development of risk assessment methods to developing-country environmental risks; Development and application of conceptual frameworks to improve policy for and regulation of pollution, including the Environmental Risk Transition and Exposure Effectiveness (now called Intake Fraction); Integration of health, climate, energy, and development issues into international collaborative scientific assessments
PhD - Biomedical and Environmental Health: Energy & Environment, University of California, Berkeley, 1977
(510) 643-0793