Obama Nominates Califf for FDA Commissioner
President Obama announced last week his intention to nominate Robert Califf as the next commissioner of the FDA, capping a swift rise for the respected clinical researcher, who assumed the agency’s number two role — deputy commissioner for tobacco and medical products — in March.
His nomination is subject to Senate confirmation. If confirmed, he would take over for interim commissioner and former FDA Chief Scientist Stephen Ostroff. Margaret Hamburg held the position for six years before resigning in March.
At the time of Hamburg’s departure, it was widely speculated that Califf would be the logical choice to assume the top spot.
In his previous role as deputy commissioner, Califf provided executive leadership for CDER and CBER and helped advise the interim commissioner on priorities and policy setting for pharmaceutical oversight. Previously, he was a professor of medicine and vice chancellor for clinical research at Duke University, where he worked for 33 years.
A 1978 graduate of Duke’s medical school, Califf was a founding director of the Duke Clinical Research Institute — the world’s largest academic research organization. He was principal investigator for the NIH Health Care Systems Research Collaboratory and a co-director of the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network. — Kellen Owings