About FDA

Meet Marsha B. Henderson, Assistant Commissioner for Women's Health

Marsha B. Henderson, FDA Associate Commissioner for Women

Marsha B. Henderson serves as the Assistant Commissioner for Women's Health at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In this role, she leads women's health research and outreach activities across the Agency. She is responsible for:

  • Directing the Office of Women's Health at the FDA.
  • Coordinating FDA policy, research, and outreach efforts to protect and advance the health of women.
  • Advocating for the participation of women in clinical trials and for sex, gender, and subpopulation analyses.

Ms. Henderson is an expert in the development of public-private partnerships and culturally appropriate consumer information. She developed the Women’s Health Take Time To Care Program which has reached over 120 million people with FDA consumer information in 18 languages, and received awards from more than 96 national organizations. In addition, her science-based but easy to read materials have been announced by Dear Abby, Parade Magazine, Hints from Heloise, and the IRS and sponsored by external groups including the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, American Diabetes Association, YWCA, Ford Motor Company, Delta Airlines, American Medical Association, and even Las Vegas casinos.

Ms. Henderson also leads new research collaborations with government, industry, and academia to promote best practices in the recruitment and retention of women in clinical trials and to advance the science of sex differences. Under her leadership, OWH released the first Women’s’ Health Research Roadmap at FDA which outlines seven priority areas for new or enhanced research including biomarkers, clinical trials design, nanotechnology, cardiovascular disease, and postmarket surveillance

Ms. Henderson is a nationally recognized leader, innovator, and change agent for the health of women and their families. She is the recipient of numerous awards from professional and consumer organizations , examples include the inaugural Dr. Estelle Ramey Award for Women’s Health Leadership; the “HerMANA” Award for innovative outreach to Hispanic women, and the Pinnacle Award for exceptional leadership in enhancing health care quality and medication use for patients and caregivers. She was also the first non-pharmacist to receive the prestigious Jacob Miller Award from the American Pharmacists Association Foundation.

Ms. Henderson’s career in the federal government has spanned over 30 years. Prior to coming to FDA in 1996, Ms. Henderson served as the Director of Evaluation for the Interagency Council on the Homeless; Director of Placement for the National Health Service Corps, Chief of Analysis and Information for the Bureau of Maternal and Child Health, and Senior Advisor to the Director of the Women's Bureau at the Department of Labor.

Ms. Henderson holds a graduate degree in Planning and Public Policy with a concentration in hospital administration from Rutgers University.

More in FDA Organization

Page Last Updated: 04/25/2016
Note: If you need help accessing information in different file formats, see Instructions for Downloading Viewers and Players.
Language Assistance Available: Español | 繁體中文 | Tiếng Việt | 한국어 | Tagalog | Русский | العربية | Kreyòl Ayisyen | Français | Polski | Português | Italiano | Deutsch | 日本語 | فارسی | English