Kathleen Rest

Executive Director

As executive director of UCS, Kathleen Rest oversees the organization's programs and operations, drawing upon a wealth of experience in government, academia, and the nonprofit sector to help guide the organization on issues ranging from climate change to global security. 

Before joining the UCS staff in 2004, Dr. Rest's experience includes serving as acting director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, during the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the anthrax scare that followed. Throughout her tenure at NIOSH, she held several leadership positions, including the deputy director for programs.

Prior to her work in the federal government, Dr. Rest was an associate professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center and an adjunct associate professor at the University of Massachusetts School of Public Health. She has extensive experience as a researcher and advisor on occupational and environmental health issues in countries including Canada, Greece, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia.

Dr. Rest was a founding member of the Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics (AOEC), a national nonprofit organization committed to improving the practice of occupational and environmental health through information sharing and collaborative research. She also served as the chairperson of the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (NACOSH).

Dr. Rest earned her doctorate in health policy from Boston University and her master’s degree in public administration, with a focus on health services, from the University of Arizona. She lives in Brighton, MA, and enjoys spending her free time with family and friends, reading, walking, and improving her Greek.