Walter Niles, Sr.

Walter Niles, Sr.
Community Advisory Council Member
Director of the Office of Minority Health and Health Equity, Florida Dept. of Health

Walter W. Niles is a native Floridian, and resides in Tallahassee, FL. He attended Oakwood College (now Oakwood University) and has an advanced leadership degree from the University of Phoenix. Walter is an Affiliate Professor at the University of South Florida, College of Public Health and a Public Health Leadership Scholar at the University of South Florida and the Florida Department of Health Leadership Institute. He is a former Florida Sterling Award (Florida’s equivalent to Baldridge Award) Examiner.

Currently, employed by the Florida Department of Health at the state program office as the Director of the Office of Minority Health and Health Equity. Besides being the founding manager of the first Florida Department of Health Office of Health Equity (OHE), which was established in 2009, and is in the Community Health Division of the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County, Walter is a State of Florida Certified Contract Manager.

Walter is a sought lecturer, frequently lecturing at National and International Conferences on subjects related to Health Equity. For nearly 25 years Walter is been a vocal champion of Social Justice and Health Equity. Formerly, he served as Director of Race Relations for the Tampa-Hillsborough Urban League where he facilitated dialogues centered on age, racism, health and gender disparities. He has hosted community race relation forums as well as race relation dialogues which included community opinion leaders such as two former mayors and a former governor of the State of Florida. Prior to joining the staff at the Urban League, Walter worked for several years in community mental health where he facilitated services for adult and seniors with mental illnesses.

As a community activist, Walter is involved in numerous organizations. He is a board member of the Central Florida Behavioral Health Network, Inc. He also is actively involved in the following organizations: Executive Board, Hillsborough County Community Action Advisory Board, University of South Florida’s Center for Leadership in Public Health Practice, Florida Public Health Association, Past Chair; Tampa Community Health Center Board of Directors, Past Chair, American Cancer Society’s Black Public Education Committee. American Cancer Society’s Black Public Education Committee, Hillsborough County Public Safety Committee, Executive member, Health Equity Coalition of Hillsborough County, NAACHO, Health Equity Leadership Committee, Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization Community Advisory Committee, Florida Medical Quality Assurance Institute Expert Panel.

Walter was recognized for his work by the Southern Region of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and received their Public Service Award. Additionally, Walter received the Planet Newspaper’s Community Ethics Award.