Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, Michigan Medicine Commencement
Dr. Abdul El-Sayed is a physician, epidemiologist, public health expert, and progressive activist. He is Chair of Southpaw Michigan and Senior Fellow at the Governing Institute. He is the author of the forthcoming “Moral Medicine” a book about the epidemic of insecurity and the focus on empathy we’ll need to cure it (Abrams Press). In 2018, Abdul ran for Governor of Michigan on an unapologetically progressive platform. Though he finished second of three earning over 340,000 votes in the Democratic primary, his bid was endorsed by Senator Bernie Sanders, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and The Nation. Prior, 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. Prior to entering public service, he was Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health where he lead 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 1200 times.
Abdul 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. 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 and AFT local 477. He enjoys good people, good coffee, good food, and University of Michigan football.