Senate Committee Advances Nomination of New FDA Commissioner

The US Senate Committee for Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) voted last week (January 13, 2022) to advance the nomination of Robert Califf, M.D., as Commissioner of the US Food and Administration (FDA) for consideration by the full US Senate. A date for a nomination hearing before the full US Senate has not yet been set. His nomination is subject to confirmation by the full US Senate.

Dr. Califf 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. Biden nominated Dr. Califf to serve as permanent FDA Commissioner. The Senate HELP Committee held a hearing on his nomination last month (December 2021) and voted to move his nomination to the full Senate earlier this month (January 2022).

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