Robert Califf, MD, Nominated by Biden Administration as Next FDA Commissioner


Having previously served as head of the organization during the Obama administration, Califf will replace current Acting Commissioner Janet Woodcock, MD.

Robert Califf, MD

Robert Califf, MD

This afternoon, President Joseph Biden officially nominated Robert Califf, MD, as the next commissioner of the US 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 November 15. A cardiologist by trade, Califf 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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