FDA COMMISSIONER KESSLER MAY REHIRE TWO FORMER FDAers
FDA COMMISSIONER KESSLER MAY REHIRE TWO FORMER FDAers, Wayne Pines and Michael Taylor, to bolster senior agency staff. The move is part of a plan being considered to establish three deputy posts, addressing administration, policy and external affairs. Current Deputy Commissioner Benson is expected to be named deputy commissioner for administration. However, no final decision has been made on either the organizational change or the possible appointments. Taylor reportedly is the leading candidate for deputy commissioner for policy. Currently a partner in the Washington office of the law firm King & Spaulding, he served as executive assistant to the commissioner under former Commissioner Jere Goyan. The deputy commissioner for policy will be responsible for advising the commissioner on matters regarding regulations and public health issues. At least one other candidate has been considered for the post. Pines is believed to be the only candidate for deputy commissioner for external affairs. However, an offer reportedly has not been formally extended to him. The new position as envisioned by Commissioner Kessler would include congressional relations, industry relations, professional relations and consumer relations as well as public affairs within its purview. Presently an executive VP for the public relations firm Burson-Marsteller, Pines was associate commissioner for public affairs in the late 1970s and early 1980s under Commissioners Kennedy, Goyan and Hayes. He recently co-authored with Kessler an article on prescription drug advertising that was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association ("The Pink Sheet" Nov. 19, p. 3). As deputy commissioner for administration, Benson would be made responsible for the day-to-day management of the agency. Formerly deputy director of the Center for Devices and Radiological Health, he served as deputy commissioner at the close of Commissioner Young's tenure, and became acting commissioner during the interregnum between Young's departure in December 1989 and Kessler's assumption of the commissionership on Nov. 8 ("The Pink Sheet" Nov. 12, T&G-1).
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