Strategic Plan (2022-2026)

Vision and Mission Statement

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or Agency) Alumni Association (FDAAA or Association) is the official global network of former and current FDA employees (FDAers), connecting and supporting alumni, the Agency, and the public health community. FDAAA’s motto is “Serving Those Who Have Served.”

The Association's core mission is to help alumni stay in touch with one another, to engage with the current issues facing the FDA, and to support the Agency's public health mission. The Association strives to do this through sharing expertise and experience, training, and outreach initiatives.


FDAAA was established in 2001 by former FDA leaders who wanted to enable both former and current FDAers to utilize their skills to serve FDA, further its mission, and to serve as a connection between current and former FDAers. FDAAA membership is open to all FDA alumni and current employees, within and outside the United States.

The Association has developed a strong relationship with the FDA and a steady membership base. The purpose of this Strategic Plan is to build on that success and develop a growth strategy that can expand membership, activities, and public service contributions.

Accomplishments to Date

Since its formal incorporation in 2003, the FDAAA has a notable record of accomplishment, including having:

  • Been honored by FDA with the Frances O. Kelsey Award for Excellence and Courage in Protecting the Public Health in 2012.
  • Established and maintained a strong relationship with FDA, a relationship reaffirmed in 2016, when FDAAA and FDA renewed their Memorandum of Understanding after 13 years of collaboration.
  • Developed a steady membership base, with a growing number of lifetime members.
  • Established a Board of Directors and Committee Structure dedicated to “Serving Those Who Have Served.”
  • Conducted ongoing member communications of Association and FDA news through a newsletter and website.
  • Hosted regular membership and educational activities including the Spring Fling Luncheon with the FDA Commissioner and an end of the year sponsored event that typically honors current and former FDA staff, as well as periodic educational events featuring senior FDA officials.
  • Established an honor awards program, including the designation of the Wiley Award Lecture at the annual Food and Drug Law Institute conference, the FDAAA Innovator Award for current FDA staff, and the Distinguished Alumni Award for former FDA staff.
  • Established and expanded a strong international outreach program to educate foreign governments and industries in FDA requirements.
  • Established the FDA Alumni Advisor Program through which FDA's Office of Regulatory Affairs employees are mentored. The program was successfully piloted in 2015-16 and ran until 2021, when it was sunsetted due to budgetary constraints.
  • Participated in a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/FDA bilateral collaboration with the The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan Food and Drug Administration and Ministry of Health.
  • Established an annual program for Commissioner’s Fellows to share experiences from FDAAA members who are former FDA officials.
  • Established The James Benson Scholarship Fund through Temple University for graduate students pursuing regulatory science careers.
  • Established the FDAAA Endowment Foundation (Foundation) to be the repository for donations to support scholarships and other educational and qualifying outreach programs.

Strategic Goals:

  • Foster, expand and maintain an effective and responsive FDA Alumni Network.
  • Support FDA’s mission.
  • Strengthen FDAAA’s structure and operations.
Goal 1: Foster, expand and maintain a relevant, effective and responsive FDA alumni and associate members network and inclusive membership organization.
  • Expand and enhance activities for and communication to members through opportunities for comradery, training, and education. (2022 -2026)


    • Take an in-depth look at how FDAAA might engage its membership better. (2022 - 2024)
      Lead: Membership Recruitment Committee


      • Conduct a membership poll to ascertain views of members on new directions and activities that would yield higher levels of participation. (2022)
        Lead: Membership Recruitment Committee.
        Contributors: Communications Committee and Membership Services Committee
  • Leverage new tools to advance communications efforts. (2023 – 2026)


    • Use the updated FDAAA website to improve communications, member engagement, and encourage additional membership. Activities could include member dialogs, sharing wisdom, seeking advice, and highlighting employment opportunities.
      Lead: Activities Committee
      Contributors: Communications Committee


      • Encourage FDAAA members to take advantage of the social media on the website to enhance communications and the building of knowledge and expertise. (2023)
        Lead: Communications Committee


      • Create and post to the website, educational, and training opportunities, along with other information, pertinent to the membership. (2024)
        Lead: Activities Committee
        Contributors: Communications Committee


    • Adjust activities to better meet the interests of the members in response to the feedback from the polling. (Dependent on the polling.) (2023 – 2026)
      Lead: Activities Committee


    • Increase the use of technological tools, such as video-conferencing, in communications, education, and training to enhance overall FDAAA capabilities, and operations. (2023-2036)
      Lead: Activities Committee


    • Increase participation in the Annual Meeting, through use of virtual technology. (2023 – 2026)
      Lead: Board of Directors


    • Actively and broadly publicize the FDAAA activities and accomplishments. (2023 – 2026)
      Lead: Communications Committee


  • Increase our outreach to members outside of D.C. Metro area through a range of activities across the U.S. that would be of interest to the diverse membership, including: in-person luncheon educational speakers, computer accessible events, local events across the country, and leveraging other interactions on the website and FDAAA networks to maintain the sense of community and continuing education. (2023 – 2026)
    Lead: Activities Committee


  • Complete a skillset mapping of current FDAAA members in order to identify FDAAA professional resources that can be aligned with FDAAA goals and objectives. (2024)
    Lead: Membership Services Committee
  • Expand FDAAA membership. (2022 – 2026)


    • Develop informational tools (brochures, etc.) to use in marketing FDAAA to FDA. (2022)
      Lead: Membership Recruitment Committee
      Contributors: Communications Committee


    • With the informational tools, meet with FDA leadership to reintroduce FDAAA and the benefits of membership and partnership. (Late 2022)


      • First meet with agency leadership – Commissioner, Center Director-level. (Late 2022)
        Lead: Executive Committee


      • Seek meetings with mid-level managers and staff. (Late 2022)
        Lead: Membership Recruitment Committee


      • Set up recruitment tables at events, continue sending Welcome Packages for new members and work on membership retention. (2023 – 2024)
        Lead: Membership Recruitment Committee


      • Utilize the capabilities of the new website to expand the FDAAA membership. (2025-2026)
        Lead: Communications Committee
        Contributors: Membership Recruitment Committee


    • Expand recruiting outreach clearly highlighting specific benefits and programming of FDAAA. (2022 – 2026)


      • Establish and launch an international network for all current and former FDA staff who serve or served in a foreign post, including locally employed staff. (2022)
        Lead: International Network Committee


      • Develop and establish an annual recruiting program for current FDA employees. (2023)
        Lead: Membership Recruitment Committee


      • Identify new strategies for getting alumni to join the organization as they prepare to depart from FDA, or shortly thereafter. (2023)
        Lead: Membership Recruitment Committee
Goal 2: Support FDA’s mission
  • Expand public service contributions through sharing expertise, experience, training and other activities. (2023 – 2026)


    • Restart the formal FDAAA Advisor Program that effectively provided 1:1 mentoring to new or junior managers and build upon its successes by reaching out to other Centers and Offices that could benefit and offering to help staff. (2023)
      Lead: Executive Committee/Ad Hoc Group


    • Build upon and continue to strengthen and expand FDAAA’s international education and outreach program with foreign governments and key stakeholders abroad about FDA standards and approaches. (2022 – 2026)
      Lead: International Network Committee


    • Partner with the FDA History Office to leverage our FDAAA collective memory primary sources to build FDA’s history archives. (2022-2023)
      Lead: Executive Committee/Ad Hoc Group


    • Create a meaningful mentoring program to support Associate Members still at the FDA as a benefit of membership, informally pairing existing FDAAA members with new members to improve membership retention. (2023 – 2024)
      Lead: Executive Committee/Ad Hoc Group


    • Enhance and continue to expand the FDAAA Foundation and its funded programs.


      • Bring the Jim Benson Scholarship Program with Temple University under the umbrella of the FDAAA Foundation. Through the Foundation, work to strengthen and possibly expand the Scholarship Program to support future regulatory scientists. (2024 – 2026)


      • Enhance the critical investments in supporting FDA’s mission through strategic programs or needs identified by FDA.
        Lead: Executive Committee/Ad Hoc Group


    • Strengthen strategic alliances and partnerships with other groups that support FDAAA’s mission, such as the Association of Food and Drug Officals, Commissioned Corps Officers Association of the USPHS, Regulatory Affairs Professional Society, the Food and Drug Law Institute, or the International Food Protection Technical Institute. (2025-2026)
      Lead: Executive Committee
Goal 3: Strengthen FDAAA’s structure and operations to better serve a growing and developing membership.
  • Assess the organizational structure and determine if it needs to be improved, expanded or adjusted (e.g., realignment of committee responsibilities, recommendations for new committees, or streamlining). (2022)
    Lead: Nominating and Governance Committee


  • Establish documented organizational operations. (2022-2024)


    • Create and archive a memorandum documenting 501c3 status. (2022)
      Lead: Executive Committee


    • Update and revise the By-Laws. (2022)
      Lead: Nominating and Governance Committee


    • Establish Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the various functions of the association and the new website to facilitate an orderly business function and for new leadership to quickly understand and take over responsibilities and roles. (2023-2024)
      Lead: Executive Committee


    • Consider appointing an FDAAA Historian who can help the organization better archive, record, preserve, and present the history of FDAAA. (2023)
      Lead: Executive Committee


    • Annually assess the Five -Year Strategic Plan to ensure it remains relevant to the organization and FDA’s needs and interests. (2022-2026)
      Lead: Executive Committee