President Barack Obama has nominated Dr. Robert Califf, FDA’s deputy commissioner for medical products and tobacco—the department’s second highest ranking official—as the new commissioner to lead the agency.
The White House made the announcement in a statement Tuesday. Califf will need to be approved by the Senate before he can officially take over the position.
Califf has held his current position at FDA sincee March 2015. He has served in various capacities at Duke University School of Medicine and the Duke University Medical Center between 1982 and 2015. He founded the Duke University Clinical Research Institute in 2006 and served as its director. He has served in a number professional organizations, including committees of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (IOM), the IOM Clinical Research Roundtable, the IOM Committee on Medication Errors, and the IOM Board on Health Sciences Policy.
FDA’s previous commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg resigned in March after nearly six years at the position. In her time with FDA, Hamburg helped modernized a food safety system and took steps to help consumers make more informed healthful food decisions. In the interim, FDA has been headed by acting commissioner Dr. Stephen Ostroff.