President Donald Trump is set to nominate Stephen Hahn, MD, as U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner, pending the completion of his vetting process.
Dr. Hahn is an oncologist and chief medical executive at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Prior to this position, he was chair of radiation oncology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. Both institutions encountered controversy during his tenure – in April, MD Anderson was accused of racial bias when it dismissed several ethnically Chinese scientists for alleged research theft and in 2009, Dr. Hahn testified before the House Veterans Affairs Committee to apologize for botched cancer treatments at Penn. However, he was not individually responsible for the missteps.
A longtime Republican donor, he has supported conservative presidential candidates, including Mitt Romney, John McCain, and George W. Bush. President Trump interviewed Dr. Hahn for the position in September and called him a “strong candidate.”
Prior to this decision, four former FDA commissioners and various advocacy organizations advised President Trump to appoint Ned Sharpless, MD, who has been acting FDA commissioner since April 2019.