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  5. Lester Crawford
  1. FDA Leadership: 1907 to Today

Lester M. Crawford

Lester M. Crawford, M.D., Ph.D.

Lester M. Crawford


Dr. Crawford was confirmed by the Senate to be FDA Commissioner on July 18, 2005.

Previously, Dr. Crawford was Chair of the Department of Physiology-Pharmacology at the University of Georgia, Administrator of the Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA) and Deputy Commissioner of FDA. From 1997-2002, he was Director of the Center for Food and Nutrition Policy at Georgetown University and at Virginia Tech, where it moved in 2001.

Dr. Crawford played major roles in mandatory nutrition labeling, the formation of the World Trade Organization and the control of chemical and microbiological contaminants of food. He served as an advisor to the World Health Organization of the United Nations for much of his career.

Dr. Crawford was a Member of the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine (UK) and a Fellow of the International Society of Food Science and Technology. In 1984, he was inducted into the French Academy of Veterinary Medicine. In 1991, he received the Wooldridge Award, the British Veterinary Association's highest award.

Dr. Crawford received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) from Auburn University, his PhD in pharmacology from the University of Georgia, and his Honorary Doctorate (MDV) from Budapest University.

He married Catherine Walker of Birmingham, Alabama in 1963 and they had two daughters, Leigh and Mary, and four grandchildren.  Dr. Crawford passed away on December 23, 2021.

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