Biden Administration Nominates Robert Califf, MD, as Next FDA Leader

November 12, 2021
Kenny Walter

Kenny Walter is an editor with HCPLive. Prior to joining MJH Life Sciences in 2019, he worked as a digital reporter covering nanotechnology, life sciences, material science and more with R&D Magazine. He graduated with a degree in journalism from Temple University in 2008 and began his career as a local reporter for a chain of weekly newspapers based on the Jersey shore. When not working, he enjoys going to the beach and enjoying the shore in the summer and watching North Carolina Tar Heel basketball in the winter.

Dr. Califf formerly led the FDA during the Obama Administration.

President Joseph Biden has officially nominated Robert Califf, MD, as the next commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Califf, who formerly ran the agency during the Obama Administration, will replace Acting Commissioner Janet Woodcock, MD, who is legally unable to remain as acting commissioner past Nov. 15.

Califf, a cardiologist by trade, was appointed Deputy Commissioner of the FDA Office of Medical Products and Tobacco in 2015, after a 35 year career at Duke University.

In 2016, Califf was confirmed by the US Senate with an 89-4 vote to be the next FDA commissioner after being nominated by President Barack Obama. He served from February 2016 until January 20, 2017.

Woodcock was appointed as acting commissioner following the resignation of Stephen Hahn, MD, at the very end of the Trump administration.

Woodcock previously served as the agency’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) director. She also was a member of the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine response team Operation Warp Speed.


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