“I had an FDA mentor tell me early on in my career, “you never know where your career in FDA will take you,” and I have found that to be very true over that last 18+ years that I have worked at the FDA.”
- Anthony W. Lee, J.D., Regulatory Counsel, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Office of Dietary Supplement Programs
How did your career begin at FDA?
I started my career with FDA in Baltimore, MD, in April 2002 as a Consumer Safety Officer (CSO). After working at a contract drug manufacturing company in Baltimore city for several years I felt a strong pull toward FDA due to the regulatory and public service aspects of the work that is done throughout the agency. As a new CSO I worked on compliance and enforcement matters for both imported and domestically produced products under FDA’s jurisdiction.
What do you value most about working at FDA?
I value the work I and my colleagues complete every day to protect the public from being harmed by adulterated and/or misbranded dietary supplements. I also value the sense of job satisfaction that comes from being a public servant and working with employees that are dedicated and committed to the FDA’s mission to promote and protect the public’s health.
What are you most proud of in terms of your work at FDA?
I am most proud of the way that FDA responds to critical public health issues that impact the American public. I have worked on several issues that required my office to coordinate with other parts of FDA and even some other federal agencies to ensure that dietary supplement products claiming to cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent diseases, including some claiming to treat COVID-19, are removed from the market for making false disease and drug claims. I am proud of the way that FDA pulls together different employees’ expertise to get the best possible public health outcome.
What advice would you give to an FDA job seeker?
I would advise an FDA job seeker to learn as much as possible about the FDA and the work that is done here in order to be prepared for the day that they receive a job interview. I would advise job seekers to be open minded to any opportunities that present themselves even if the opportunity is not directly related to someone’s specific background or experience. Many individuals often enter FDA in one position and later move to a different office or position within FDA. I had an FDA mentor tell me early on in my career, “you never know where your career in FDA will take you,” and I have found that to be very true over that last 18+ years that I have worked at the FDA. Potential job seekers should familiarize themselves with USAJobs.gov and utilize all resources available.
When you're not at work, what is your favorite way to unwind?
I absolutely love being outdoors and hiking, biking, kayaking or going to the beach. When I can’t be outdoors my favorite genres to stream or watch on demand are science fiction and political dramas.