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I Am ORA Profile: Clinton Priestley

I Am ORA Profile: Clinton Priestley

Clinton Priestley, Consumer Safety Office, Audit Staff, Human and Animal Food Operations, Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA), Food and Drug Administration

IAmORA Clint Priestley

My name is Clint Priestley and I am a Consumer Safety Officer (CSO) in FDA’s Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA). I work for the Audit Staff, which is a small group of CSOs who are responsible for conducting first- and second-party audits on behalf of the FDA. These audits can be thought of as internal audits and supplier audits, respectively.

The Audit Staff assessments play an important role in minimizing risks associated with the foods that FDA regulates and enhancing public health. I love the diversity of the work I do. I enjoy witnessing first-hand how the agency is improving the quality of the products we regulate through our partnerships with state and foreign governments and industry. Knowing the value of this work is motivating and inspires me each day.

The audit program was initiated in 2008 to address the assessment and audit requirement of the Manufactured Food Regulatory Program Standards. Our role was expanded in 2014 to include assessment and oversight of the Animal Feed Regulatory Program Standards.

Each Audit Staff member is recognized as a Certified Quality Auditor (CQA) by the American Society for Quality (ASQ). As a CQA, I am approved to conduct assessments against any set of known standards for compliance following standards for quality and integrity.

The purpose and type of audit that I conduct is based on the program I am auditing. The Audit Staff supports many FDA programs through assessments of state regulatory programs. Since the audit program was created, the staff has competed nearly 200 on-site assessments for domestic food and feed programs. 

A significant part of my job is to work with other FDA partners including FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition to conduct comparability assessments of our foreign regulatory partners. This helps me understand the global food safety system. I also work with third-party entities through the Accredited Third-Party Certification Program to ensure that foods that are imported into the United States meet FDA regulations.

The Audit Staff collaborates with alliances and association groups including the Association of Food and Drug Officials, the Association of American Feed Control Officials and the Partnership for Food Protection to enhance FDA and state regulatory cooperation and interaction.

I am very proud to work in a group that has helped enhance the global food safety network.

Prior to joining the Audit Staff, I worked as an investigator and conducted inspections in human and animal food, bioresearch monitoring, human tissue products and medical devices. Many people mentored me along the way. I learned something important from each of them. But the common thread was: Remember why we are doing this job. There are people out there who depend on the work we do to keep them and their families safe.

I am Clint Priestley and #IAmORA.