Former NYC Health Chief To Be Tapped For FDA

Dr. Margaret Hamburg i i

hide captionDr. Margaret Hamburg at a panel discussion in Hollywood, Calif., in 2003. Hamburg is Obama's choice to head the FDA.

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
Dr. Margaret Hamburg

Dr. Margaret Hamburg at a panel discussion in Hollywood, Calif., in 2003. Hamburg is Obama's choice to head the FDA.

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Former New York City Health Commissioner Margaret (Peggy) Hamburg is President Obama's choice to lead the federal Food and Drug Administration, sources tell NPR.

Hamburg has a long and diverse history as a public health leader and bioterrorism expert. She's currently a senior scientist at the Nuclear Threat Initiative in Washington, D.C.

In her new role, which requires Senate confirmation, she would face a wide range of issues including the potential regulation of tobacco by the FDA and a possible overhaul of the nation's food safety system. She would also oversee the regulation of drugs and medical devices.

In her six years as New York City health commissioner, she put into place a tough plan against tuberculosis that included broadening the city's quarantine authority.

She also approved a plan to distribute clean needles to New York drug users to prevent AIDS.

Hamburg has worked at the federal Department of Health and Human Services overseeing new regulations and the budget.

The announcement reportedly will be made within the next day or two. The White House declined to comment.

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