President Trump Announces Nomination for FDA Commissioner
November 1, 2019
Washington, D.C.—President Trump announced his intent to nominate Stephen Hahn, a cancer specialist and hospital administrator, to lead the FDA. According to Politico, this would be Dr. Hahn’s first public service post in 25 years, if the Senate confirms him.
Dr. Hahn was chairman of the radiation oncology department at the University of Pennsylvania medical school for nine years until 2015, when he joined MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas, where he last year became Chief Medical Executive.
Politico adds that there was a statutory deadline for nominating a permanent commissioner; Acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless could have only held the position through Friday if Trump didn’t nominate a new commissioner. The Trump administration will temporarily name HHS Assistant Secretary of Health Brett Giroir as the interim FDA Chief as Dr. Hahn goes through the confirmation process.
The New York Times noted that Dr. Hahn has donated to Republicans in the past, although he did not donate to the Trump campaign. While he hasn’t recently worked in a public service position, those who know him seem to think he has the personality for it: The Times cites Dr. Theodore DeWeese, Vice Dean for Clinical Affairs at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, as saying “He has the ability to stand up, take responsibility, understand the problem and fix the problem so it won’t happen again, and help everybody through that.”
The Times also noted that Dr. Hahn, who stepped in to run M.D. Anderson in 2017, is credited with returning the M.D. Anderson cancer center to “stable footing” after a series of financial and ethical controversies.
The Times also reported that Dr. Hahn has...