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Janet Woodcock is Named Acting FDA Commissioner, As Stephen Hahn Steps Down

In typical fashion, as the new administration took over, i.e., as President Biden was sworn in on Wednesday, Dr. Stephen M. Hahn resigned as FDA Commissioner.  His resignation was part of the routine departure of political appointees seen when a new President takes office.

Dr. Janet Woodcock has become Acting Commissioner on an interim basis, which was leaked last week through several news sources.  She is a veteran regulator, and longtime Director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) at FDA.

President Biden will officially appoint a FDA Commissioner in due course.  In making his selection, he reasonably will consult with, Dr. David Kessler, a former FDA Commissioner, who now is the chief science officer of COVID response, responsible for revamping the vaccine rollout.  Several sources indicate that Dr. Woodcock is being vetted for the Commissioner spot, along with FDA’s Principal Deputy Commissioner, Joshua Sharfstein. 

We will continue to monitor this and other appointments.