Skip to content

Alexander: In Bipartisan Vote, Senate Health Committee Approves Dr. Stephen Hahn to Serve as FDA Commissioner

Says Dr. Hahn’s experience as an oncologist, a successful leader of the MD Anderson Cancer Center, and work at the National Institutes of Health makes him well prepared to lead the FDA

WASHINGTON, December 3, 2019 — The Senate health committee today approved the nomination of Dr. Stephen Hahn to serve as commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by a bipartisan vote of 18-5.

“Dr. Hahn has extensive medical and research experience and is a proven leader in large health systems—all around, he is exactly the type of nominee we want to lead an agency as important as the FDA,” Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said at today’s committee vote.

“Now it’s time for him to be confirmed because there is a lot the FDA needs to do—approve new life-saving drugs and devices, regulate tobacco and e-cigarettes, address the opioid crisis and ensure pain patients can receive the medications they need, and protect our nation’s food supply.”

Alexander concluded his remarks today: “Dr. Hahn is well prepared to lead the FDA at this critical time. The Committee has received thirteen letters of support for Dr. Hahn representing nearly 80 organizations on behalf of doctors, patients, researchers, and from his colleagues.” 

“For example, Dr. Peter Pisters, President of MD Anderson said, ‘Dr. Hahn boldly took on challenges and demonstrated success offering our entire community the opportunity to see him as a resilient leader with the intellect, emotional intelligence and drive necessary to succeed in a dynamic, multi-dimensional organization, similar to the FDA.’

“In addition, five previous FDA Commissioners, who served under Presidents Trump, Obama and Bush wrote: ‘We believe Dr. Hahn has the experience and commitment to public health and public service needed to provide this leadership… we hope that Dr. Hahn will be able to bring his clinical expertise, leadership experience, and commitment to public service and science to the FDA as soon as possible.’”

Hahn’s nomination is now ready for consideration before the full Senate.

The Committee also today approved the following labor nominations by voice vote:

·        Nomination of Richard Giacolone to be Director, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service

·        Nomination of Cynthia Attwood to be a Member, Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission

·        Nomination of Amanda Wood Laihow to be a Member, Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission