WASHINGTON--President Clinton has nominated Jane E. Henney, MD, vice president for health sciences, University of New Mexico, as the new FDA Commissioner. She would replace David M. Kessler, MD, who resigned more than a year ago and is now dean of the Yale University School of Medicine.
Dr. Henney, a cancer specialist, has served in government under every president since Jimmy Carter. She was the FDAs deputy commissioner for operations from 1992 to 1994.
Her nomination won warm praise from many in the medical and public health fields, including Health and Human Services Secretary Donna E. Shalala, PhD. The Secretary called Dr. Henney "a talented manager" with "the solid medical and academic credentials that are needed to understand the burgeoning field of biomedical research."
However, several conservative Republicans have indicated their opposition to Dr. Henney. They want to know specifically if she had anything to do with the FDAs decision to allow testing of the abortion drug RU-486.