Regulatory Focus™ > News Articles > 2019 > 6 > Pfizer Appoints Gottlieb to Board of Directors

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Posted 28 June 2019 | By Zachary Brennan 

Pfizer Appoints Gottlieb to Board of Directors

Following in the tradition of recently departed US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioners, Scott Gottlieb is joining the board of directors at Pfizer.

In addition to his role on the Pfizer board, Gottlieb, an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, is also resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a partner at the venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates.

Reactions to Gottlieb’s decision to join the Pfizer board ranged from surprise at how quickly he made the move after leaving FDA (less than three months) to a lack of surprise considering how many former FDA employees transition to industry jobs and boards.

Gottlieb joins a long list of past FDA commissioners who have since joined the boards of life science and other industry companies. In fact, David Kessler is the only FDA commissioner in the past several decades who has not joined such a board.

Examples of previous commissioner joining boards include Scott McClellan to Johnson & Johnson and the insurer Cigna, Margaret Hamburg to Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Andrew von Eschenbach to Bausch Health (formerly Valeant Pharmaceuticals) and Robert Califf, who also works for Google’s Verily, joined the board at Cytokinetics.

And the former commissioners are by no means alone in making the jump from FDA to industry. Several FDA directors recently left for AstraZeneca, Sanofi, Merck and elsewhere.


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