Senate confirms new FDA commissioner

On February 25, 2022, in Confirmations, FDA, by David Elrod

The Senate on Tuesday voted 50-46 to confirm Dr. Robert Califf to be commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee in January voted 13-8 to advance Dr. Califf’s nomination to the Senate floor.

Dr. Califf served as FDA commissioner during the last year of the Obama administration. He was confirmed by the full Senate for that position by a vote of 89-4. Dr. Califf has previously served as deputy commissioner of the FDA’s Office of Medical Products and Tobacco. Since leaving the FDA in 2016, Dr. Califf led clinical policy and strategy for Verily, the life sciences arm of Google.

Born in South Carolina, he earned an undergraduate degree from Duke University, a medical degree from the Duke University School of Medicine, and completed his internal medicine residency at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Califf returned to Duke to complete his fellowship in cardiology, where he focused his career leading clinical trials at Duke until joining the FDA in 2015.

Now confirmed by the Senate, Dr. Califf replaces acting commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock.