Dr. Robert Califf Approved as FDA Commissioner

The US Senate voted this week (February 15, 2022) to confirm Dr. Robert Califf, M.D, to be the next Commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration in a vote of 50 to 46.

This will be Dr. Califf’s second time serving as FDA Commissioner. He previously served as FDA Commissioner from 2016-2017 and as Deputy Commissioner for Medical Products and Tobacco at FDA from 2015-2016. He is currently a Professor of Medicine at the Duke University School of Medicine, where he previously served as Vice Chancellor and founded the Duke Clinical Research Institute. He also is a Senior Advisor for Google Health and Verily Life Sciences, the life-sciences arm of Alphabet, the parent company of Google. He has nearly 40 years of experience as a doctor and researcher and is recognized for his expertise in clinical trial research, health disparities, healthcare quality, and cardiovascular medicine.

President Joe Biden nominated Dr. Califf last November (November 2021) to fill the position vacated by Dr. Janet Woodcock, who stepped down as Acting FDA Commissioner. She was named Acting FDA Commissioner on January 20, 2021, and due to a statutory limit to how long a Senate-confirmed position can be filled by an Acting official, she either had to be named to the position on a permanent basis or step down by mid-November 2021. President Biden nominated Dr. Califf to serve as permanent FDA Commissioner.

The US Senate Committee for Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) held a hearing on Dr. Califf’s nomination in December 2021 and voted 13-8 to move his nomination to the full Senate last month (January 2022).

Source: US White House and US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions