Newswise — Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, MD, has been named the 2018 Rutgers School of Public Health Convocation Speaker and Senator Frank R. Lautenberg Annual Award recipient. The Lautenberg Award was established by Rutgers School of Public Health in 2001 to honor those who have made outstanding contributions in Public Health. Dr. El-Sayed’s passion and commitment to our discipline are evidenced by his continued policy work and fight for health equity for all.

At just 30 years old, Dr. El-Sayed served as the Executive Director of the Detroit Health Department and Health Officer from the City of Detroit from 2015-2017 – the youngest health officer ever appointed in a major US city. He relentlessly championed and advocated for Detroit’s inner-city residents to assure health equity, including leading efforts to increase water testing in Detroit’s schools during the Flint water crisis and providing Detroit’s school children with necessary corrective eyewear.

Dr. El-Sayed is also an internationally recognized scholar who has authored more than 100 articles, abstracts, and book chapters on public health policy, social epidemiology, and health disparities. Prior to his work in Detroit, Dr. El-Sayed was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and holds degrees from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (BS), Oriel College, Oxford (MA, DPhil), and Columbia University (MD).

“Our upcoming convocation marks our 35th anniversary graduation ceremony – not only a celebration of our students’ accomplishments, but also of their boundless potential,” says Dr. Perry N. Halkitis, Dean of the School. He adds, “Dr. El-Sayed embodies our school motto, ‘keeping the public in public health,’ through his work as medical doctor, epidemiologist, and social justice warrior. He has been an advocate for those in our society who have been marginalized. For these and myriad other reasons, he will be an inspiring speaker and is such a worthy recipient of the Lautenberg Award.  Like so many of our students, Dr. El-Sayed also is the child of immigrants, and his presence at our graduation ceremony will resonate strongly with so many who have similar life experiences.”

Dr. El-Sayed will receive the Senator Frank R. Lautenberg Award and deliver his address on Friday, May 11, 2018 at 5 p.m. at Rutgers Nicholas Music Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

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