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Meet Stephen Ostroff, M.D., Acting Commissioner of Food and Drugs

Stephen Ostroff, M.D., Chief Scientist

Stephen Ostroff, M.D., is the Food and Drug Administration's acting commissioner of food and drugs. As the top official of the FDA, Dr. Ostroff is committed to strengthening programs and policies that enable the agency to carry out its mission to protect and promote the public health.

"It’s a singular honor to be given the opportunity to represent the people of the FDA who every day dedicate their work to assure safe and effective medical products, foods, and cosmetics and to mitigate the health consequences of tobacco products," says Dr. Ostroff.  

Before being named acting commissioner, Dr. Ostroff served as the FDA’s chief scientist since January 2014. In this capacity, he was responsible for leading and coordinating FDA's cross-cutting scientific and public health efforts. The Office of the Chief Scientist works closely with FDA’s product centers, providing strategic leadership and support for FDA’s regulatory science and innovation initiatives.

Dr. Ostroff joined FDA in 2013 as chief medical officer in the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition and senior public health advisor to FDA’s Office of Foods and Veterinary Medicine.

Prior to that he served as deputy director of the National Center for Infectious Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where he was also acting director of CDC’s Select Agent Program. While at CDC he focused on emerging infectious diseases, food safety, and coordination of complex outbreak response.  He retired from the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service at the rank of Rear Admiral (Assistant Surgeon General).  Dr. Ostroff was also the director of the Bureau of Epidemiology and acting physician general for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and has consulted internationally on public health projects in South Asia and Latin America.

Dr. Ostroff graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 1981 and completed residencies in internal medicine at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and preventive medicine at CDC.

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Page Last Updated: 02/25/2016
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