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FDA Commissioner Announces Important Personnel Changes

ROCKVILLE, Md., Jan. 22, 2007-U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Dr. Andrew C. von Eschenbach is pleased to announce two new personnel changes at the Agency; the creation of the Office of the Chief Medical Officer which will be overseen by Deputy Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock and the appointment of John R. Dyer, MPH, as the agency's Deputy Commissioner for Operations and the Chief Operating Officer (COO).

As the Deputy Commissioner and the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Woodcock will oversee scientific and planning-related operations for FDA. In this capacity, Dr. Woodcock shares responsibility and collaboration with the Commissioner of FDA in planning, organizing, directing, staffing, coordinating, controlling, and evaluating the agency's scientific and medical regulatory activities in order to achieve the mission of FDA.

"FDA is a science-based agency and science-led Agency; science provides the foundation for our regulatory decisions and the work we do on a daily basis to promote and protect the nations' health," said Dr. von Eschenbach. "Creation of this office, and position, will better ensure we achieve this mission with the highest scientific quality and effectiveness needed."

Dr. Woodcock most recently served as the Deputy Commissioner for Operations. An internist and rheumatologist, Dr. Woodcock was previously the Director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) and also has significant experience working in the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER). Dr. Woodcock started her FDA career in 1986.

Mr. Dyer will be a part of the senior management of the agency that supports the Commissioner in advancing his priority initiatives. Specifically, Mr. Dyer will concentrate on strengthening the management, business processes, and information technology of the agency. In addition, Mr. Dyer will work with the other Deputy Commissioners and the Chief of Staff to provide management leadership and oversight to FDA.

"Management and oversight of FDA's administrative processes are crucial to ensuring this agency is able to carry out its diverse and complex public health mandate," said Dr. von Eschenbach. "With almost 24 percent of the products in the marketplace regulated by FDA it is imperative we apply and incorporate modern management tools and techniques to our regulatory decisions. Mr. Dyer's deep experience in management is ideally suited to meet the emerging challenges and opportunities involved in protecting and promoting the health of the American public in the 21st century."

Mr. Dyer most recently served as the Chief Operating Officer for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), a federal agency within the Department of Health and Human Services that is responsible for providing health insurance benefits to the elderly, disabled, and indigent through the Medicare and Medicaid programs. In that capacity, he led the implementation of the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA) and was responsible for the overall day to day operations of the agency. Specifically as COO, he helped develop the program policies and regulations, and stood up the business and systems operations of the prescription drug program in time for the congressionally mandated start of open enrollment on Oct 15, 2005 and start of the drug prescription benefits on January 1, 2006.

Prior to CMS, from 2001-2003, Mr. Dyer worked in the private sector for information technology and executive leadership companies. He was involved in entrepreneurial ventures in agriculture, real estate, and industrial enterprises in Latin America from 2003-2004.

In his federal career from 1972 to 2000, Mr. Dyer held increasingly responsible executive positions with the Social Security Administration (SSA), including the Chief Information Officer and Principal Deputy Commissioner where he assisted the agency by leading the effort to automate and modernize systems and improve the level of customer service. Other federal positions include the Director for Budget and Management at CMS (then the Health Care Financing Administration) from 1984-1998 and Commerce Branch Chief at the Office of Management and Budget in the Executive Office of the President. While at OMB, Mr. Dyer had budget and policy review of wide-ranging research and development programs ranging from mental health to ocean and atmospheric related.

Mr. Dyer has been the recipient of many awards during his federal career including the Presidential Award for Distinguished Executive. He holds a Masters Degree in Public Health from the University of Michigan and obtained his undergraduate Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Notre Dame.


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Posted: January 2007