FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg issued a memo today that confirms Joshua Sharfstein, Principal Deputy Commissioner, is leaving the agency. The memo, provided to Pharmaceutical Technology from the agency press office is below.
“After almost two years as FDA’s Principal Deputy Commissioner, Dr. Joshua Sharfstein has been selected by Maryland Governor Martin O ‘Malley to run the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Josh has been an invaluable part of the leadership team during his time here. After ably leading the FDA Transition for the Obama Administration, Josh took on his important leadership role here at FDA and has contributed to our efforts in a myriad of ways. In particular, he has led the successful launch of the FDA Transparency Initiative and the design and implementation of the agency-wide performance management program, FDA TRACK. He has brought intelligence, energy and his signature sense of humor to everything he has done. I know Josh will put his many talents to good use serving the citizens of Maryland, but he will be greatly missed at FDA.
In addition, I want to take this opportunity to thank Russ Abbott, Deputy Commissioner for Administration, for serving FDA in many important roles for more than 40 years. Last week, Russ retired from FDA and I know his leadership and advice will be missed across the agency. I am pleased to announce that Curtis Coy will join FDA on a detail as Acting Deputy Commissioner for Administration. Curt most recently served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Administration for Children and Families at HHS. Prior to his appointment at ACF in 2002, Curt served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Management at the Administration on Aging and for two years as the Director of the Program Support Center at HHS.
We are also fortunate to have Segundo Pereira serving as the Acting Director of the FDA EEO office in our Office of Administration. Segundo has a long and distinguished history with the Department of Health and Human Services. Most recently, he served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Diversity Management and EEO at HHS. I hope you will join me in wishing Josh and Russ well in their new endeavors and in welcoming Curt and Segundo to FDA.
In light of these many transitions, I would like to take this opportunity to consult with senior FDA leaders and review certain functions and positions. My top priority is advancing FDA’s public health mission and I want to ensure all our resources – from our programs to our key staff positions – are as efficient and well-organized as possible. During the next 60 days while I conduct this review, I have asked John Taylor, Counselor to the Commissioner, to serve as the Acting Principal Deputy Commissioner.
We have a talented team of dedicated professionals at FDA. I am looking forward to new opportunities and challenges in the year to come.
Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D.
Commissioner of Food and Drugs”