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Richard G. Rumba, MPH

Environmental Health Program Administrator

New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services

Concord, New Hampshire 03302-0095


Richard G. (Rick) Rumba is the Environmental Health Program Administrator at the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES).  He has over 25 years of supervisory and program management experience in environmental and public health issues, with 10 years experience at DES.  As Environmental Health Program Administrator, Rick is responsible for planning, developing and implementing programs and policies to assure that human health is not adversely impacted by environmental contaminants in the State. He oversees the work of 12 staff members in 5 specific program areas:  Health Risk Assessment; Environmental Toxicology; Radon; Indoor Air Quality; and Air Toxics; and is the principle DES liaison with the NH Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Division of Public Health Services (DPHS). 


Rick has earned a B.S. in Environmental Science from Unity College in Unity Maine; and a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree in Public Health: Ecology from the University of New Hampshire.  He represents DES on a number of public health advisory councils including: the New England Asthma Regional Council; the NH Asthma Control Program Steering Committee; the NH Legislative Council on the Relationship between Public Health and the Environment, the NH Public Health Improvement Advisory Council, the NH Coordinated School Health Council; the BreatheNH Lung Health Advisory Committee; and the NH Childhood Lead Poisoning Advisory Committee.  He also serves on the Board of Directors of the New Hampshire Public Health Association and the Leadership Board of the New Hampshire Chapter of the American Lung Association of New England. 


Leadership Development Opportunities

In my role as the Environmental Health Program Administrator at the NH Department of Environmental Services, I often observe problems that occur and re-occur within the current environmental health system, but have not been able to step back and see the "big picture" in order to examine and correct the underlying structures that cause these symptomatic problems to persist. The EPHLI program introduced me to the concept of  "systems thinking" which allowed me to examine and describe the environmental health system's "current reality", identify the key stakeholders and their relationships within the system, and determine the underlying forces that influence their decisions. Using this approach I was then able to develop a leadership project plan that detailed the steps necessary to facilitate cause-correcting changes that will help break the problem cycle and create a more efficient and effective system.  In addition, EPHLI provided me with several insightful self-assessment tools that allowed me to better understand how I process information, make decisions, relate to others in my job, and approach change – the results of which I used to create and institute an individual development plan to improve my personal leadership skills.  The program also provided the unique opportunity to meet and learn from many leaders in the fields of leadership development, organizational learning, program performance and assessment, ethics, and conflict resolution. Finally, I am truly grateful to the dedicated EPHLI staff, instructors, mentors and other environmental health fellows who guided and supported me through this valuable learning opportunity.