Dr. Abdul El-Sayed   

Dr. El-Sayed is a physician, epidemiologist, progressive activist, educator, author, speaker, and podcast host. He is a Scholar-in-Residence at Wayne State University and American University, where he teaches at the intersection between public health, public policy, and politics. He was previously a Sine Fellow at American University’s Sine Institute of Policy & Politics, and a Pritzker Fellow at the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics.  Dr. El-Sayed is the Chair of Southpaw Michigan and a Political Contributor at CNN. He serves as a Sanders appointee and one of eight members of Vice President Biden’s 2020 Unity Task Force for Healthcare. His book, Healing Politics (Abrams Press), diagnoses our country’s epidemic of insecurity and the empathy politics we will need to treat it, and his forthcoming book Medicare for All: A Citizen’s Guide (Oxford University Press, 2021) co-authored with Dr. Micah Johnson, offers a no nonsense guide to the policy. Dr. El-Sayed is also the host of “America Dissected,” a podcast by Crooked Media, which goes beyond the headlines to explore what really matters for our health.

In 2018, Dr. El-Sayed ran for Governor of Michigan on an unapologetically progressive platform. Prior to that, he served the City of Detroit as Health Director, appointed to rebuild Detroit's Health Department after it was privatized during the city's bankruptcy. He was the youngest health official in a major American city and was awarded “Public Official of the Year” by the Michigan League of Conservation Voters and "40 under 40” by Crain’s Detroit Business in view of his leadership. Before entering public service, he was Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health where he led Columbia’s Systems Science Program and Global Research Analytics for Population Health. He has over 100 peer reviewed scientific publications that have been cited over 1700 times.

Dr. El-Sayed earned a Doctorate in Public Health from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He also holds a Medical Degree from Columbia University where he was an NIH-funded Medical Scientist Training Program Fellow and Soros New Americans Fellow. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa with Highest Distinction from the University of Michigan, where he was chosen to deliver the student remarks alongside President Bill Clinton and was awarded the Bicentennial Alumni Award in 2017. He is a native Michigander who was born and raised in Metro Detroit, where he lives with his wife Sarah, a psychiatrist, and daughter Emmalee. He is a proud member of UAW Local 1981, AFT Local 477, and SEIU Local 500. He enjoys good people, good coffee, good food, and University of Michigan football.

Symposium presentation:

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed will discuss environmental justice and the harmful impact the oil & gas companies have had on our environment, and the disproportionate impact on people of color, his experience fighting for environmental justice against these corporations in Detroit, and how we will win the future for health and against climate change.