President Bush has nominated Mark B. McClellan, md, phd, who has held senior positions in both the Clinton and current Bush Administrations, as Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). If confirmed by the Senate, Dr. McClellan will assume a major health post that has remained vacant since the resignation of Jane E. Henney, md, in January 2001.
Dr. McClellan, a physician and economist, is currently a member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors, on which he has served since July 2001. He joined the Bush Administration from Stanford University, where he was associate professor of both economics and medicine, and attending physician at Stanford Health Services. From 1998 to 1999, he was deputy assistant secretary of the treasury for economic policy, and he previously served on the Institute of Medicine’s National Cancer Policy Board.
"Dr. McClellan has a strong background in medicine, science, public policy, and economics. This experience would serve him well at the FDA as it continues its efforts to create a more responsive FDA," said Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy G. Thompson.
Filling the top FDA job has been a politically contentious issue in Washington. Dr. McClellan fulfills one requirement that Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass), who chairs the Senate committee that will hold hearings on Dr. McClellan’s nomination, has insisted onthat the new commissioner had not worked in the pharmaceutical industry.
"Dr. McClellan has impressive credentials both as a physician and economist," said Sen. Kennedy. "I look forward to learning more about his views on issues critical to the FDA."