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Associate Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine, Linda Tollefson to Retire

January 31, 2014

FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine, Michael R. Taylor, J.D., has announced that RADM Linda Tollefson, D.V.M., Associate Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine will retire effective March 1, 2014.

In announcing her retirement, Mr. Taylor stated that Dr. Tollefson has accomplished a great deal during her 30 years at the Agency. She started her career at FDA in 1984 as an Epidemiologist in CFSAN, and has served in a wide range of leadership roles in CFSAN, CVM, OC, the Office of International Programs, and currently as Mr. Taylor’s deputy in the Office of Foods and Veterinary Medicine (OFVM).

Among the highlights of Dr. Tollefson’s illustrious FDA career are serving as the Chief of the Epidemiology Branch at CFSAN, the Director of the Office of Surveillance and Compliance and eventually the Deputy Center Director at CVM, the Assistant Commissioner for Science, and the Director of FDA’s Europe Office from 2009-2012.

Mr. Taylor went on to say that in her current position as Associate Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Tollefson has been a tremendous resource for him and their program, and provided critical leadership in implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) as the co-chair of the FSMA Operations Team (FOT) Steering Committee and on major international issues.

Mr. Taylor announced that upon Dr. Tollefson’s retirement, Erik Mettler, currently the Director of OFVM Office of Resource Planning and Strategic Management will become Acting Associate Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine. In his new role, as Mr. Taylor’s principal deputy, Mr. Mettler will provide crucial continuity of leadership in achieving the strategic goals of their program, including continuing to direct implementation of their vision for risk-based priority setting and resource allocation.

In addition, Mr. Taylor announced that Roberta Wagner, CFSAN’s Deputy Director for Regulatory Affairs, will take Dr. Tollefson’s place as the co-chair of the FOT Steering Committee. Roberta will continue as deputy center director, where she directly oversees food safety and applied nutrition. As the FOT Steering Committee co-chair, she will join the Office of Regulatory Affairs’ (ORA’s) Joann Givens in leading the broad collaborative effort to implement the strategic, risk-based industry oversight framework that is at the heart of FSMA.


January 31, 2014
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