Public Policy and Public Health Informatics and Intelligence: An Innovative Lens for the Administration of Energy Security, and Environmental and Public Health Sustainability

The United States and European Union: How to Achieve a Collaborative Competitive Advantage in Energy Security without Undermining Environmental and Public Health Sustainability

Completed Masters Thesis

Michael H. Baron

Northwestern University, School of Professional Studies

Recipient of the 2015-2016 Distinguished Thesis Award in Public Policy and Administration from the Northwestern University School of Professional Studies


Abstract from Masters Thesis

(as background information)

As oil and natural gas extraction technologies have advanced and globalization has evolved, energy security has become an increasing imperative for the United States and European Union. In spite of disparate domestic agendas and distinctive policymaking dynamics pertaining to socioeconomic development, collaboration between the US and EU is critical to the effective conceptualization and operational framework of energy security (Sovacool, 2012, 2014; Yergin, 2013).  Carefully implemented, cohesive objectives regarding strategic energy resources in areas such as Eastern Europe and the Middle East entail conjoint foreign policy among the US and numerous members of the EU. This includes a degree of diplomatic flexibility which is largely unprecedented in global history (Mix, 2015).  To ascertain the current and future impacts of the aforementioned relationships and commitments, additional research is needed, and specific examples of alignment and variation ought to be identified in relation to energy-oriented policies and objectives (Sovacool, 2012, 2014; Vig & Kraft, 2016).  The primary aim of this research is to conduct an in-depth analysis of current policies apropos of energy security in the US and EU, by focusing on policy initiatives and hydraulic fracturing, to discern whether this guidance and oversight has the potential to achieve security objectives, while concomitantly reinforcing economic growth, sustainable development, and overall public health. Through constraining this research to a specific policy-based initiative that is foundational to the future of domestic energy security, a comparative case study was able to extrapolate pivotal findings, thereby addressing the harmonization and convergence of policy agendas across international borders. These findings have direct implications for predicting, assessing, and modelling the future of policy-based guidelines, particularly when evaluating the transitional state of establishing priorities germane to energy security, national resiliency, and protectionist agenda setting.


The following section is a conceptual extension of analytical frameworks derived from my Master’s Thesis.


Public Policy and Public Health Informatics and Intelligence: An Innovative Lens for the Administration of Energy Security, and Environmental and Public Health Sustainability


This research focuses on the relationships among Energy Security, Environmental Sustainability, and Public Health Sustainability within the context of Public Policy and Public Health informatics and intelligence.   Informatics refers to the science of garnering, “cleaning,” organizing, synthesizing, linking, managing, and analyzing data, including its complex, secure storage and retrieval (Magnuson & Fu, 2014).  However, this does not occur within a contextual vacuum. Contemplating myriad semantic frameworks of Public Policy and Public Health, informatics integrates salient and frequently influential factors, such as social networks, culture, politics, institutional priorities, budgeting, demographic considerations, environmental variables, and database infrastructures (Magnuson & Fu, 2014).


Public Policy and Public Health intelligence encompass the purview of qualitative and quantitative studies required to provide accurate analyses and facilitate cohesive, multiplatform (i.e., cross-systemic and varied protocol) decision-making and policy-making, as well as to observe and assess diverse Public Policy and Public Health initiatives (Regmi & Gee, 2016).  These endeavors involve, yet are not constrained by, obtaining data and evidence-based knowledge through carefully planned and implemented research methodologies, which emphasize empirical information and related analyses.  Such heterogeneous processes are strengthened by multifaceted evaluations and a collaborative alignment of perspectives and modelling, as part of establishing coherent intelligence (Regmi & Gee, 2016).  Public Policy and Public Health intelligence are often intricately associated with elucidating patterns of causation, subsequent purposeful actions, and the dissemination of information and insights (Regmi & Gee, 2016).  These objectives are designed to inform novel community-welfare-oriented and urban development programs, creative social equity initiatives, and unique governmental and institutional partnerships (Regmi & Gee, 2016).   Reflecting upon the aforementioned concepts, this research clarifies the modes in which Public Policy and Public Health informatics and intelligence affect multi-agent systems and their coordination, reduce internal and external systemic and organizational uncertainty, and distribute knowledge to strengthen implicit and explicit social network structures, organizational functioning, and leadership dynamics (Regmi & Gee, 2016).


Future research on these topics will elucidate how Public Policy and Public Health informatics and intelligence utilize an array of administrative strategies in conjunction with intellectual and social capital, as well as collective intelligence, to enhance the social equity and social welfare dimensions of energy security, improve healthcare access and quality of services (as salient aspects of Public Health sustainability), and refine numerous approaches to environmental sustainability (Miorandi et al., 2014).  These studies will also refer to how Public Policy and Public Health informatics and intelligence engender more agile, attuned decision-making processes for the benefit of social equity and welfare, inclusive development, and community and urban resilience strategies, underscoring innovative solutions for energy security (Hickey, Sen, and Bukenya, 2015; Teichman, 2016).  From a Global Policy perspective, such research fosters the successful attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the establishment of effective parameters for future socioeconomic development relationships between the United States and European nations, with a focus on various members of the European Union (Teichman, 2016).


Author Bio

Michael Baron is currently an Instructor for online courses and Content Expert in Data Analytics and Statistics at Cornell University.  He received a Bachelor of Arts (High Honors in Psychology) from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa.  Michael Baron has also completed a Master of Arts in Communication from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania (1994), a Master of Science in Health and Social Behavior from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (1995), a Master Certificate in System Design and Project Leadership from the Cornell University College of Engineering and School of Civil and Environmental Engineering (2014), and a Master degree in Public Policy and Administration with a specialization in Global Policy from the Northwestern University School of Professional Studies (2016).



Article key words: Public Policy, Public Health, Administration, Informatics, Intelligence, Innovation, Energy Security, Environment, Sustainability, Environmental Sustainability, Public Health Sustainability, Communication, Sociology, Resilience, Intellectual Capital, Social Capital, Collective Intelligence, Social Equity, Social Welfare, Urban Planning, Leadership Development, Organizational Development, Collaboration, Community, City, Inclusive Development, Social Networks, Social Network Structures, Network Science, Public Private Partnerships, Government, Governance, United States, Europe, European Union, United Nations, Sustainable Development Goals



Hickey, S., Sen, K., & Bukenya, B. (Eds.). (2015). The politics of inclusive development: Interrogating the evidence. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.

Magnuson, J. A., & Fu, P. C., Jr. (Eds.). (2014). Public health informatics and information systems (2nd ed.). London, United Kingdom: Springer-Verlag.

McNeill, D. (Ed.). (2014). Analytics in healthcare and the life sciences: Strategies, implementation methods, and best practices. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Press, The International Institute for Analytics.

Miorandi, D., Vincenzo, M., Rovatsos, M., Nijholt, A., & Stewart, J. (Eds.). (2014). Social collective intelligence: Combining the powers of humans and machines to build a smarter society. New York, NY: Springer International Publishing.

Mix, D. E. (2015). The United States and Europe: Current issues. Retrieved from

Regmi, K., & Gee, I. (Eds.). (2016). Public health intelligence: Issues of measure and method.

New York, NY: Springer Nature of Springer International Publishing.

Sovacool, B. K. (2012). Energy security: Challenges and needs. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Energy and Environment, 1(1), 51-59.

Sovacool, B. K. (2014). The Routledge handbook of energy security (Reprint edition). New York, NY: Routledge.

Teichman, J. A. (2016). The politics of inclusive development: Policy, state capacity, and coalition building. New York, NY: Palgrave MacMillan.

Vig, N. J., & Kraft, M. E. (Eds.). (2016). Environmental policy: New directions for the twenty-first century (9th ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publications, Inc., CQ Press.

Yergin, D. (2013). Energy security and markets. In J. H. Kalicki & D. L. Goldwyn (Eds.), Energy and security: Strategies for a world in transition. (pp. 69-139). Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson Center Press.