Robert M. Califf, M.D., is Commissioner of Food and Drugs. President Joe Biden nominated Dr. Califf to head the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Dr. Califf was sworn in on February 17, 2022. Previously, Dr. Califf served as Commissioner of Food and Drugs from February 2016 to January 2017. As the top official of the FDA, Dr. Califf is committed to strengthening programs and policies that enable the agency to carry out its mission to protect and promote the public health. Dr. Califf served as the FDA’s Deputy Commissioner for Medical Products and Tobacco from February 2015 until his first appointment as Commissioner in February 2016.
Prior to rejoining the FDA, Dr. Califf was head of medical strategy and Senior Advisor at Alphabet Inc., contributing to strategy and policy for its health subsidiaries Verily Life Sciences and Google Health. He joined Alphabet in 2019, after serving as a professor of medicine and vice chancellor for clinical and translational research at Duke University. He also served as director of the Duke Translational Medicine Institute and founding director of the Duke Clinical Research Institute. A nationally and internationally recognized expert in cardiovascular medicine, health outcomes research, health care quality, and clinical research, Dr. Califf has led many landmark clinical trials and is one of the most frequently cited authors in biomedical science, with more than 1,300 publications in the peer-reviewed literature.
Dr. Califf became a Member of the National Academy of Medicine (formerly known as the Institute of Medicine (IOM)) in 2016, one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine. Dr. Califf has served on numerous IOM committees, and he has served as a member of the FDA Cardiorenal Advisory Panel and the FDA Science Board's Subcommittee on Science and Technology. Dr. Califf has also served on the Board of Scientific Counselors for the National Library of Medicine, as well as on advisory committees for the National Cancer Institute, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the Council of the National Institute on Aging.
While at Duke, Dr. Califf led major initiatives aimed at improving methods and infrastructure for clinical research, including the Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative (CTTI), a public-private partnership co-founded by the FDA and Duke. He also served as the principal investigator for Duke's Clinical and Translational Science Award and the NIH Health Care Systems Research Collaboratory Coordinating Center.
Dr. Califf is a graduate of Duke University School of Medicine. He completed a residency in internal medicine at the University of California, San Francisco and a fellowship in cardiology at Duke.