Janet Woodcock in the Running for FDA Chief in Biden Administration
FDA veteran Janet Woodcock has reportedly been short-listed by the incoming Biden administration to serve as the agency’s next commissioner and will also likely serve as acting chief until the position is filled.
Woodcock is expected to assume the role of acting FDA commissioner on Jan. 20 after President-elect Biden is inaugurated and current chief Stephen Hahn steps down from the agency.
Woodcock, who took leave from her position as director of the agency’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) to serve as the COVID-19 therapeutics adviser to the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed (OWS) initiative, is now reportedly being considered to lead the agency in a permanent capacity.
The long-time CDER director just last week returned to the FDA as principal medical adviser to Hahn and is now performing her OWS duties in addition to her new advisory role at the agency.
But Woodcock is not the only candidate on the Biden team’s short list for FDA commissioner. Joshua Sharfstein is also reportedly in the running for the post. A physician with an extensive public health background, Sharfstein previously served as FDA principal deputy commissioner from 2009 to 2011 and led former President Obama’s FDA transition team. He is currently vice dean for public health practice and community engagement at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
The Biden transition team did not respond to requests for confirmation of the shortlisted candidates and the FDA declined to comment.