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FDA Chief of Staff to Step Down This Month

Posted 03 June 2019 | By Zachary Brennan 

FDA Chief of Staff to Step Down This Month

The US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Chief of Staff Lauren Silvis announced Monday that she will be stepping down from her role and leaving the agency in the next several weeks.

Silvis, a former deputy center director for FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, moved to the role of chief of staff in 2017 when former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb came aboard.

Gottlieb said in a statement on Monday: “She was a strong manager drawn from within the ranks of the agency’s career leadership. She’s deeply public health minded, and firmly committed to the FDA’s special mission…She earned the deep respect of the political and career leadership throughout HHS and the White House.”

Keagan Lenihan, currently associate commissioner for strategic initiatives and external affairs, will transition to the role of chief of staff, Gottlieb added. “Keagan is a strong manager and creative problem solver who advanced many key public health initiatives; including FDA’s drug shortage work,” he said.

The departure of Silvis follows several recent departures for an agency that is still seeking to fill hundreds of positions.

Leah Christl, director of the therapeutic biologics and biosimilars staff, left FDA in February to take a position at Amgen. Similarly, last summer, Patrick Frey, chief of staff in FDA's Office of New Drugs, left FDA to take a position as director, global regulatory policy and R&D at Amgen.

These recent departures may add to the burden of senior leaders who can now retire too.

Last June, FDA also told Congress in a report that more than 40% of senior leadership are eligible to retire in 2019.


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