Dr. Olajide Williams is a tenured Professor of Neurology and Associate Dean of Community Research and Engagement at Columbia University. He is Chief of Staff of the Department of Neurology at the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and a global leader in health disparities and behavior change in communities of color. Dr. Williams is the Principal Investigator of multiple large NIH investigator-initiated awards and has served on several national panels on health disparities, including the 2021-2026 National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Strategic Planning Committee. An influential clinician-educator, Dr. Williams is a member of the Columbia University’s Virginia Apgar Academy of Medical Educators and sits on the medical school’s Committee on Education Policy and Curriculum (CEPC). He is co-Chair of the Academy of Community and Public Service, co-Chair of Columbia University’s Medical Campus Anti-Racism Task Force, and co-director of the Columbia University Community Wellness Center. Dr. Williams has authored and co-authored several books and numerous scholarly peer-reviewed articles including the November 2020 AHA Presidential Advisory on Structural Racism.
Dr. Williams is the founder and board chair of Hip Hop Public Health, an internationally recognized organization that works with iconic Hip Hop influencers to uses art, music, and science to promote healthy behaviors, health literacy, and health equity. He is a board member of the Partnership for a Healthier America whose honorary chair is former First Lady Michelle Obama, where he helps guide health equity-related activities. Dr. Williams is an expert on COVID-19 vaccine acceptance in communities of color and COVID-related health disparities. He has received many prestigious international, national, regional, and local awards. These include the European Stroke Research Foundation Investigator of the Year award, two-time Columbia University Outstanding Teacher of the Year award, American Heart Association’s Trailblazer Award, and a National Humanism in Medicine award from the Association of American Medical Colleges. Dr. Williams has been named on Fast Company Magazine’s 100 Most Creative People list, Root 100’s most influential Blacks in America list, Advertising Age’s Creative 50 list, and consecutive New York Magazine’s Best Doctors list.