Obama remains undecided on new CDC and FDA leaders

January 15, 2009

According to an article in The Wall Street Journal, Julie Gerberding will step down as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director when Obama is sworn in next week, ending a tenure of more than six years. She will be replaced by William Gimson III, the agency’s Chief Operating Officer, until a permanent successor is named. In addition, Frank Torti, the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) current Science Chief, will serve as Acting Director until a permanent Chief is named. It is estimated that a decision regarding the new FDA Chief will be made in the next three weeks.

As for the CDC, there are several scientists under consideration for the Director position. They include James Marks, a former senior CDC official who is now a Senior Vice President at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; Helene Gayle, former CDC Director for HIV/AIDS and President and CEO of CARE; and Thomas Frieden, Commissioner of the New York City Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene.

According to an article on Bloomberg.com, Jane Henney is among those being considered for FDA Chief under President-elect Barack Obama. Henney headed the agency from Nov. 1998 until Jan. 2001. During this time the abortion pill RU-486 was approved. Currently, Henney, 61, is Professor of Medicine at the Univ. of Cincinnati.

The Wall Street Journal article

Bloomberg.com article