Hamburg will succeed Andrew von Eschenbach, who led the agency from 2005 until this past Jan. In 1991, Hamburg was appointed by N.Y. Mayor David Dinkins as Acting Commissioner and become Commissioner the following year. She left N.Y. in 1997 to become Assistant Secretary for planning and evaluation at the federal Dept. of Health and Human Services, where she created a bioterrorism initiative and led planning for pandemic flu response.
According to the article, Peter J. Pitts, President of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest, said the selection of Hamburg and Sharfstein suggests that the Obama administration supports splitting the FDA. If that is the case, Pitts believes that Hamburg would become Commissioner of food, while Sharfstein would lead the FDA, which would become the Federal Drug Administration.
The New York Times article
According to The New York Times, President Obama intends to nominate Margaret Hamburg to lead the Food and Drug Administration sometime this week. In addition, Joshua Sharfstein, the Health Commissioner of Baltimore, Md., will become Hamburg’s Chief Deputy.