Andrew C. von Eschenbach, MD
President, Samaritan Health Initiatives and
Former Commissioner, U.S. Food and Drug Administration and
12th Director of the National Cancer Institute
Andrew C. von Eschenbach, M.D., currently serves as president of Samaritan Health Initiatives. In September of 2005, he assumed leadership of the Food and Drug Administration where he immediately engaged an agenda to modernize the FDA. Confirmed by the Senate as commissioner in December 2006, he emphasized innovation by fostering creative projects, including FDA’s Critical Path Initiative and the FDA’s Food Protection Plan plus an Agency-wide fellowship program and development of a new integrated campus for the Agency in White Oak, Maryland. In addition to expanding FDA’s international role by establishing FDA offices around the world, he internally fostered, through process improvements, a regulatory pathway that is transparent and efficient while still rigorous and science led.
Dr. von Eschenbach joined FDA after serving for 4 years as director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at the National Institutes of Health. At the time of his appointment by President Bush to serve as director of NCI, he was president-elect of the American Cancer Society. Dr. von Eschenbach entered government service after an outstanding career over three decades as a physician, surgeon, oncologist and executive that included numerous leadership roles from chairman of the Department of Urologic Oncology to executive vice president and chief academic at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. He is the author of more than 300 scientific articles. He has received numerous professional awards and honors. In 2006, Dr. von Eschenbach was named one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people to shape the world, and in both 2007 and 2008, he was selected as one of the Modern Healthcare/Modern Physician’s "50 Most Powerful Physician Executives in Healthcare."
Dr. von Eschenbach earned a Bachelor of Science from St. Joseph’s University in his native Philadelphia and his medical degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C. He served as a Lt. Commander in the U.S. Navy Medical Corps. After completing a residency in urologic surgery at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, he was an instructor in urology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He completed a Fellowship in Urologic Oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. He has been married to his childhood sweetheart, Madelyn, for over 40 years, and they are proud parents of four children and elated grandparents of seven.