Former FDA Commissioner, AIDS Advocate David Kessler Named Dean of UCSF School of Medicine
Dr. David Kessler, former FDA commissioner and dean of Yale School of Medicine, yesterday was named the new dean of the University of California-San Francisco School of Medicine effective Sept. 1, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. He will also serve as an attending pediatrician at UCSF Children's Hospital (Russell, San Francisco Chronicle, 6/24). Kessler, who was also named vice chancellor for medical affairs at UCSF, succeeds Dr. Haile Debas, current dean and vice chancellor of medical affairs (UCSF release, 6/23). Kessler has served as dean of the Yale School of Medicine since 1997, and he served as FDA commissioner from 1990 to 1997 under the Bush and Clinton administrations. As the longest-serving FDA commissioner in history, Kessler increased the speed of the drug-approval process, which brought several AIDS drug onto the market "faster than previously possible," the Chronicle reports (San Francisco Chronicle, 6/24). Kessler is also chair of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and has received the American Foundation for AIDS Research Sheldon W. Andelson Public Policy Achievement Award. Kessler received his undergraduate degree from Amherst College, his medical degree from Harvard Medical School and his law degree from the University of Chicago Law School. UCSF Chancellor Dr. J. Michael Bishop said that Kessler's "extensive experience in the leadership of both public and private institutions will serve UCSF well" (UCSF release, 6/23). Drew Altman, president of the Kaiser Family Foundation, said that Kessler, who is a trustee of the foundation, will expand UCSF's "national profile as a leader in medical science and health policy," according to the Chronicle (San Francisco Chronicle, 6/24).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.