Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the 23rd U.S. Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, will leave the post just short of two years on the job.

Gottlieb surprised Washington D.C. on Tuesday when he announced he is stepping down in another month. He says he wants to spend more time with his family. Since assuming office on May 11, 2017, Gottlieb has been commuting from his home in Westport, CT, to FDA headquarters in Silver Spring, MD. Gottlieb is married with three young daughters.

The commissioner’s departure is creating ripples through the public health world because of his aggressive work to combat opiods and control tobacco use, especially among children.

During his tenure as FDA commissioner Gottlieb has shown his interest in food safety by reaching out to stakeholders and showing a willingness to work with states. His work with Congress brought FDA what is likely its largest budget in the agency’s history, more than $5 billion.

Gottlieb is a physician, medical policy expert, and public health advocate who previously served as the FDA’s Deputy Commissioner for Medical and Scientific Affairs. Before that he was a senior advisor to the FDA commissioner.

He also worked on the implementation of the Medicare drug benefit as a senior advisor to the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, where he supported policy work on quality improvement and the agency’s coverage process, particularly as it related to new medical technologies.

Gottlieb served on the Federal Health Information Technology Policy Committee, which advises the Department of Health and Human Services on healthcare information technology.

Previously, he was a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a Clinical Assistant Professor at the New York University School of Medicine in Manhattan, where he also practiced medicine as a hospitalist physician.

He completed a residency in internal medicine at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, and is a graduate of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Wesleyan University, in Middletown, CT, where he studied Economics.

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