US FDA's principal deputy commissioner Janet Woodcock will retire and will be succeeded by Namandjé Bumpus.

Shreeyashi Ojha, Reporter

December 1, 2023

2 Min Read
Janet Woodcock
Janet Woodcock, Principal Deputy Commissioner, FDA. c/o FDA

After serving the agency for nearly 40 years Janet Woodcock will retire from the role of principal deputy commissioner and will be succeeded by Namandjé Bumpus. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the fortnightly special brought to you by BioProcess Insider. 

US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) chief scientist Namandjé Bumpus will assume the role of principal deputy commissioner as Janet Woodcock retires.  

Bumpus will work with FDA leadership to develop, advance, and implement key public health initiatives while overseeing the day-to-day functions at the agency. With the objective of unifying the Human Foods Program and providing leadership to the Office of Regulatory Affairs, she will play a significant role in the Implementation and Change Group.

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Namandjé Bumpus, Chief Scientist, FDA. c/o FDA

Namandjé joined the agency in 2022 as the chief scientist and has previously worked at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) School of Medicine.  

She will be taking over the role held by FDA veteran and stalwart Janet Woodcock, whose career with the agency spans nearly 40 years. Before her appointment to this position, she held the role of acting commissioner for the FDA until the appointment of Robert Califf in February 2022.  

Woodcock has been lauded for successfully restructuring the drug approval process, relaxing the criteria needed for certain drugs to reach the market. 

“A legend in every sense of the word, Janet has made an indelible mark on so many of us, and on public health. There isn’t enough space or time here to properly capture her accomplishments, sing her praises and most of all, thank her,” announced Robert Califf, FDA commissioner on X (previously known as Twitter). 

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Janet Woodcock, Principal Deputy Commissioner, FDA. c/o FDA

Having led the agency as the acting commissioner during the pandemic, Woodcock oversaw the FDA as it reviewed early vaccines and treatments for COVID-19, as she led therapeutics effort under operation warp speed, a federal government initiative to speed up the development COVID-19 vaccines. 

Woodcock has been a part of the agency since 1986, as director of the division of biological investigational new drugs and as acting deputy director at Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER), which is a regulatory authority within FDA that regulates biological products for human use. 

She will not be looking for any roles outside of the FDA after her retirement. 

About the Author(s)

Shreeyashi Ojha

Reporter, BioProcess Insider

Journalist covering the manufacturing and processing sectors for biopharmaceuticals globally.  

Originally from India, I am a Londoner at heart. I have recently graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London.  

Feel free to reach out to me at: [email protected].

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