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2017 Commencement Speaker

Robert Califf

Robert M. Califf, M.D.

Robert M. Califf, M.D., the Donald F. Fortin M.D., Professor of Cardiology in the School of Medicine at Duke University and former commissioner the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), will address graduates of the Class of 2017 at NYMC’s 158thCommencement exercises in Carnegie Hall on Wednesday, May 24. As the top official of the FDA, Dr. Califf strengthened programs and policies to enable the agency to carry out its mission to protect and promote the public health.

Dr. Califf served as the FDA’s deputy commissioner for medical products and tobacco from 2015 until his appointment as commissioner in 2016. In that capacity, he provided executive leadership to the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, the Center for Devices and Radiological Health and the Center for Tobacco Products. He also oversaw the Office of Special Medical Programs and provided direction for cross-cutting clinical, scientific, and regulatory initiatives, including precision medicine, combination products, orphan drugs, pediatric therapeutics and the advisory committee system.

Prior to joining the FDA, Dr. Califf was a professor of medicine and vice chancellor for clinical and translational research at Duke University. He also served as director of the Duke Translational Medicine Institute and was the founding director of the Duke Clinical Research Institute. A nationally and internationally recognized expert in cardiovascular medicine, health outcomes research, healthcare quality, and clinical research, Dr. Califf has led many landmark clinical trials and is one of the most frequently cited authors in biomedical science, with more than 1,200 publications in the peer-reviewed literature.

Dr. Califf is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Duke University and an Alpha Omega Alpha graduate of the Duke University School of Medicine. He completed his residency in internal medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and a fellowship in cardiology at Duke. He is board-certified in internal medicine and cardiology and a Master of the American College of Cardiology.