Sanmi Areola, Ph.D. is the Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Health, Human Services and Education with Prince George’s County, Maryland. Until recently, he was the Director of the Department of Health and Environment, Johnson County, Kansas where he led the response to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on residents of the county. Prior to that, he served as the Interim Director of Health and the Deputy Director for the Metro Public Health Department, Nashville, Tennessee.
Sanmi is a public health generalist who has been involved in aspects of Health in All Policies (HiAP), Health Equity, social determinants of health, public health risk assessments, air toxics assessments, vehicle emissions, air pollution, indoor air quality, pest management, insecticides used in mosquito control, community water fluoridation and concerns about household chemicals. He is passionate about community involvement in every aspect of public health decision-making, investigations and interventions, and the need to incorporate principles of Health in All Policies (HiAP). He is the former Director of the Bureau of Environmental Public Health and a past president of the African Society for Toxicological Sciences (ASTS), which organizes scientific conferences on environmental health and toxicological issues impacting the African continent around the world and has partnered with major international agencies to address global health issues. He spearheaded the formation of Toxicologists of African Origin (TAO) Special Interest Group as part of the US Society of Toxicology. TAO focuses on addressing issues impacting communities here in the US and Africa.
Dr. Areola taught Environmental Health and Industrial Hygiene classes at Meharry Medical College for several years, conducts public health community engagement activities and has been featured in several media addressing public health issues of concern in the community. He has served as an expert witness on public health issues before elected officials and in local courts.
He received his B.S degree from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria in 1988 and his Ph.D. in environmental toxicology from Texas Southern University, Houston, Texas, USA in 1998. He was a postdoctoral fellow with the Neuroscience Division, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas from 1998 to 2002.