“I accepted the proud duty of becoming a Consumer Safety Officer because of how I want to be remembered. Health is a right, not a privilege.”
-- Shekita Maxwell PharmD., Consumer Safety Officer, Office of Enforcement and Import Operations
How did your career begin at FDA?
In the pursuit of continuing a career in public service, after serving honorably in the United States Army 82nd Chemical Corps, as a Department of Veterans Affairs Clinical Laboratory Scientist, Legal Assistant for the Department of Treasury, Internal Revenue Services (IRS) and Georgia Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellow in Public School 6-12 Science Education, I proudly began serving the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2019. I currently hold the Consumer Safety Officer position in the Division of Southeast Imports, Atlanta District Office, Savannah, Georgia Resident Post. My dedicated service, superior achievements, and commitment to FDA's mission have resulted in significant contributions to public health and the Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA) organization. Embarking on new duties and responsibilities in my career, I am currently serving on detail at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Joint Coordinator Center (JIC), Data Strategy and Execution Work Group (DSEWG) COVID-19 Pandemic Taskforce as Team Lead Hospital Data Liaison.
What do you value most about working at FDA?
I most value the service leadership opportunities here at FDA. As a Consumer Safety Officer, I ensure the general public's welfare by inspecting regulated services and products for regulatory compliance. Through diligent attention-to detail and keen responsibility, I perform inspections and investigations pertaining to the FDA-regulated industry by conducting field exams, label exams, product sample collections, and domestic inspections according to district obligations; and performing investigations pertaining to consumer complaints related to FDA-regulated products; Collect samples for both routine surveillance and supporting evidence in violative cases; Conducts recall audit checks to follow- up on firms' reported recall process following a recall of products from the U.S. market place; Review and respond to a variety of inquiries involving the FD&C Act and enforces state and county regulations. Prepares concise, factual final reports, memorandum, and other written documentation that support investigative findings and recommendations to document any violation(s) identified during the inspection as well as recommendations for regulatory actions.
What are you most proud of in terms of your work at FDA?
I accepted the proud duty of becoming a Consumer Safety Officer because of how I want to be remembered. Health is a right, not a privilege. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is responsible for protecting the public health by assuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, our nation's food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation. The FDA also provides accurate, science-based health information to the public.
As a Consumer Safety Officer, I ensure equal access to health and human services and protect the privacy and security of health information. Public health integrates civil rights into all our substantive word through advocacy, litigation, and research. It ensures that people of color, marginalized and minority people, people with disabilities, people with limited English proficiency (foreign and domestic firms), women, and LGBTQ people can achieve their fullest health potential by assuring the safety, efficacy, and security. In this pandemic of COVID-19, where would will you sit in the defense of change for health equity? For, if we want to go fast, we go alone, but if we want to go far, we go together.
What advice would you give to an FDA job seeker?
Find what makes you passionate about public service. Vicariously be the leader in your career path, tap into what you love and then match that to your career goals. At the FDA, it is possible and essential to achieve your goals, so add your value to your career and triumph.
When you're not at work, what is your favorite way to unwind?
My favorite pastimes are spending quiet time with God and reflecting on His grace and mercy; spending quality time with my family; and supporting and participating in my community, civic and educational justice and sports.