Dr. Olajide Williams

Dr. Olajide Williams

About this Speaker

Dr. Olajide Williams is a tenured Professor of Neurology at Columbia University and Chief of Staff of the Department of Neurology at the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. A graduate of the University of Lagos, Nigeria, and Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, New York, Dr. Williams is a global leader in health disparities, stroke, and behavior change research in communities of color, and a principal investigator of multiple large NIH investigator-initiated awards. Dr. Williams has served on several national panels on health disparities, and he is a current member of 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 Academy of Community and Public Service. He is currently co-Chair of Columbia University’s Medical Campus Anti-Racism Task Force, Special Advisor to the Executive Vice President and Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine for Community Affairs, and co-director of the Columbia University Community Wellness Center. Dr Williams is a member of the Columbia University VP&S Neuroscience course teaching faculty, and sits on the medical school’s Committee on Education Policy and Curriculum (CEPC). A member of editorial boards of peer reviewed journals including Stroke- the preeminent journal in the field of stroke – Dr Williams has authored and co-authored numerous scholarly peer-reviewed articles including the November 2020 AHA Presidential Advisory on Structural Racism. He serves as an editor of the Handbook of Neurological Therapeutics, and he is the author of the acclaimed book Stroke Diaries for stroke survivors.

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 use the power of music to create and implement multimedia health promotion programs and resources to improve community health literacy and inspire behavior change among young people of color. 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. Recently, Dr Williams has been a featured expert panelist on COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy 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 for the Major Clinical Year, 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.