Margaret Hamburg Commissioner
Food and Drug Administration
Corby Kummer Senior Editor
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Margaret A. Hamburg
Margaret A. Hamburg became the 21st Commissioner of Food and Drugs in May 2009. The second woman to be nominated for this position, she is an experienced medical doctor, scientist, and public health executive. As the top official of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Dr. Hamburg is currently overseeing the implementation of laws to curb the use of tobacco and enhance food safety, and has undertaken major efforts streamline and modernize FDA’s regulatory pathways.
Before joining FDA, Dr. Hamburg worked at the Nuclear Threat Initiative from 2001 to 2009, first as the vice president for biological programs and later as the foundation’s senior scientist. From 1997 to 2001, she was assistant secretary for policy and evaluation at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and in the 1990s she served as commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Dr. Hamburg earned her undergraduate and medical school degrees from Harvard University.
Corby Kummer's work in The Atlantic has established him as one of the most widely read, authoritative, and creative food writers in the United States. The San Francisco Examiner pronounced him "a dean among food writers in America."
Margaret Hamburg, commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), discusses the recent listeria contamination of cantaloupes, calling it "one of the most serious, most deadly foodborne outbreaks in decades." While the U.S. has one of the safest food supplies in the world, she says, "we are still very vulnerable to foodborne outbreaks."