March 12, 2009

Senator Gillibrand Praises President Obama's Plan to Nominate Dr. Margaret Hamburg as FDA Chief

Washington, D.C. - Following the news reports, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand praised President Obama's plan to nominate Dr. Margaret Hamburg, former New York City Health Commissioner and bioterrorism expert, to head the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

"Dr. Hamburg's appointment as Commissioner of the FDA will bring much needed integrity and leadership to an agency that protects the public health and maintains our leadership in scientific research and innovation.

"Throughout a distinguished career, Dr. Hamburg has proven herself to be a person who will put science ahead of ideology and politics. She will make the well-being of our families her top priority.

"I congratulate Dr. Hamburg, and look forward to considering her nomination as it comes before the Senate."

Dr. Hamburg became New York City's Deputy Health Commissioner in 1990. Prior to her appointment, she designed a program that cut high rates of drug-resistant tuberculosis, supported needle-exchange to cut the spread of the AIDS virus and helped introduce smoking restrictions.

Dr. Hamburg also served as the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services during the Clinton Administration, laying the groundwork for much of the government's bioterrorism preparations and pandemic flu planning.