Deputy Mayor's Biography

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deputy mayor kanika tomalinDr. Kanika Tomalin is a thought leader, policy-maker, community ambassador, and health advocate.

As the first African-American, female Deputy Mayor and City Administrator of one of Florida’s largest cities, Dr. Kanika Tomalin is a role model for women from all walks of life and an advocate for innovative policies, equitable community revitalization, healthy families, at-risk youth and education.

In her role as Deputy Mayor, she works in partnership with Mayor Rick Kriseman to strategically advance St. Pete toward its goals.

She led a community-wide effort to craft and establish a vision for the city that guides the policies, plans and actions of the Kriseman Administration.

Her signature initiative, Healthy St. Pete, which launched in 2014, has made community health a priority and impacts the lives of thousands of Sunshine City residents. By creating access to healthy food options, implementing free fitness zones in city parks and adding resources for individuals and families to make healthy living easier – Dr. Tomalin has made a tangible difference.

As St. Pete’s Chief Administrator, she’s taken a fresh approach to this traditional role, transforming intent into action through strategic operations and fiscal innovation – ultimately bringing transparency and easier access to city government.

When people ask Dr. Tomalin to describe herself, she doesn’t hesitate to say that first and foremost, she is mom to Kai and Nia. This is quickly followed by her passion for St. Pete, it’s history and progress, and the city her family has called home for more than five generations.

Dr. Tomalin’s understanding of the critical role health plays as a determinant of overall quality of life was shaped prior to her career in the public sector. She quickly climbed the ranks in the healthcare industry, most recently serving as the regional vice president of External Affairs for the Bayfront Health Network and director of Strategy for Health Management Associates’ 23-hospital Florida Group.

An expert strategist and storyteller, she’s also worked as a marketeer and journalist for the then St. Pete Times.

Dr. Tomalin earned a B.S. in broadcast journalism from Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University, an MBA from the University of Miami and a Doctorate in law and policy from Northeastern University.

She has received countless awards and appointments, including being named one of Florida’s most powerful and influential women and business woman of the year. She is committed to several important causes, namely engineering self-perpetuating sustainable opportunities and improving the health of the community she serves.