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David  Kessler

David Kessler

Former Commissioner, US Food & Drug Administration


Dr. Kessler is the former Commissioner of the United States Food and Drug Administration (1990-1997). He was appointed by President G. H. W. Bush and reappointed by President Clinton. He has also served as the dean of the medical schools at Yale and the University of California-San Francisco and is currently a professor of pediatrics and epidemiology and biostatistics at UCSF. Read More >

Dr. Kessler has a wide range of experience in research, clinical medicine, education, administration, and the law. He is a 1973 magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Amherst and received his JD from The University of Chicago Law School, where he was a member of the Law Review, in 1978, and his MD from Harvard Medical School in 1979. He did his internship and residency in pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. In 1986, he earned an advanced professional certificate from the New York University Graduate School of Business Administration.

Dr. Kessler’s book, A Question of Intent (PublicAffairs, 2001), chronicles his tenure at the FDA and, in particular, the agency's battle against tobacco. In addition, Dr. Kessler has published numerous articles in The New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, and other major medical journals. His latest book, The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite (Rodale, 2009), was an instant New York Times bestseller. He serves on the boards of various organizations and is a member of the Institute of Medicine and the recipient of a number of awards and honors. Read Less ^

Speech Topics

The Tobacco Industry: Impact & Influence

Big Pharma Drug Regulation & Approval

Obesity & Food in America