Commonwealth National Podcast

Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach, Commissioner of The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (6/10/2008)


Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach, Commissioner of The U.S. Food and Drug Administration


The man who heads the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach, will discuss the challenges facing his agency and facing consumers. With Congress pushing for faster approval of new medications and federal coffers shrinking, the FDA is facing tough challenges. Von Eschenbach will explain what lies ahead for the nation's premiere consumer protection and health agency and the future of consumer safety.

Von Eschenbach, M.D., was sworn in as the 20th Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on December 13, 2006. As the former Director of the National Cancer Institute (appointed in January 2002 by George W. Bush), he is a nationally recognized urologic surgeon and oncologist. He was also president-elect of the American Cancer Society at the time of his appointment to the NCI.

Prior to serving as Director of the NCI, Dr. von Eschenbach was Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, where he lead a faculty of more than 1,000 cancer researchers and clinicians. There, he also served as Vice President for Academic Affairs and held the Roy M. and Phyllis Gough Huffington Clinical Research Distinguished Chair in Urologic Oncology. He was founding director of the Prostate Cancer Research Program at the University in 1996. He also served as a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy Medical Corps from 1968 to 1971.

Dr. von Eschenbach, a cancer survivor himself, has been recognized by several organizations for his achievements and leadership. He has received numerous awards including the 2003 Carpe Diem Award from the Lance Armstrong Foundation. He was also chosen by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people to shape the world in 2006.

He received his M.D. from Georgetown University School of Medicine in 1967. The native Philadelphian earned a B.S. from St. Joseph’s University in 1963.

This program was recorded in front of a live audience on June 10, 2008