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News Reports: Biden To Nominate Robert Califf To Be FDA Commissioner


Califf, who is described by some as a safe choice for the agency’s top job, headed the FDA during the last year of the Obama administration.

President Joe Biden is expected to announce later this morning that he will nominate Robert Califf, M.D., to be commissioner of the FDA, numerous news outlets are reporting.

Today’s news is not a surprise. Numerous news outlets reported several weeks ago that Califf had emerged as Biden’s top choice. The lack of permanent FDA has been conspicuous by its absence. If confirmed by the Senate, Califf would take over from Janet Woodcock, M.D., who has been acting commissioner since the beginning of the Biden administration.

Related: Why Doesn’t the FDA have a Permanent Commissioner?

This would be Califf’s second stint as FDA commissioner. He was commissioner during the last year of the Obama administration, serving from Feb. 24, 2016 through Jan. 20, 2017.

Politico broke the news that Califf would be nominated this morning just before 9 a.m.

The Wall Street Journal reported that some consumer advocacy groups, such as Public Citizen, have been pushing the administration not to nominate Califf because of his consulting experience with drugmakers.

The Washington Post said FDA experts see him as a “safe choice — an experienced hand who is unlikely to make abrupt changes.” The Post also reported that Califf is a senior adviser to Verily and Google Health.

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