Reagan-Udall Foundation for the FDA Announces New Board Members

Recognizes Outstanding Contributions of Outgoing Board Members

(March 7, 2022) The Reagan-Udall Foundation for the FDA (FDA Foundation) has appointed four new members to our Board of Directors: 

  • David C. Fajgenbaum, MD, MBA, MSc, FCPP, University of Pennsylvania
  • William N. Hait, MD, PhD, Johnson & Johnson
  • James E.K. Hildreth, PhD, MD, Meharry Medical College
  • Debra L. Ness, MS, formerly with National Partnership for Women and Families 

Dr. David C. Fajgenbaum is an Assistant Professor of Translational Medicine & Human Genetics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Founding Director of the Center for Cytokine Storm Treatment & Laboratory, and Co-Founder/President of the Castleman Disease Collaborative Network (CDCN). He is the national bestselling author of Chasing My Cure: A Doctor's Race to Turn Hope Into Action and a patient battling idiopathic multicentric Castleman disease (iMCD). He is in his longest remission ever thanks to a precision treatment that he identified, which had never been used before for iMCD. He joins the FDA Foundation Board this month. 

Dr. William N. (Bill) Hait is Executive Vice President, Chief External Innovation, Medical Safety and Global Public Health Officer at Johnson & Johnson. Prior to his current role, Dr. Hait served as Global Head, Johnson & Johnson External Innovation, where he built an enterprise-wide external R&D pipeline, creating innovative solutions utilizing the Company’s excellence in pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and consumer products.  Under his leadership, the company launched more than 20 new products and numerous line extensions, transforming the lives of millions of people around the world. His tenure on the Board began in January. 

Dr. James E.K. Hildreth is President and Chief Executive Officer of Meharry Medical College, the nation’s largest private, independent, historically black academic health sciences center. Dr. Hildreth is credited with groundbreaking work around AIDS and HIV and was the first African American to hold a full tenured professorship in basic research at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He has published more than 120 scientific articles and is the owner of 11 patents based on his research. He joins the Board this month. 

Debra L. Ness recently concluded a distinguished tenure as President of the National Partnership for Women & Families, an organization that works to improve the lives of women and families by achieving equity for all women. Under her stewardship, the National Partnership, has significantly influenced national health policy on behalf of consumers, patients, and families.  Ness has deep expertise in patient engagement, health equity, and payment and delivery reform.  She has served on the boards of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), the American College of Cardiology (ACC), the National Quality Forum (NQF), and others.  Ness also led the National Partnership in promoting workplace policies that enhance health and economic opportunity by enabling paid sick days and family and medical leave and prohibiting pay and pregnancy discrimination. She joins the Foundation Board this month. 

“We are pleased to welcome all our accomplished colleagues to the Board of Directors,” said Ellen V. Sigal, PhD, Chair of the FDA Foundation’s Board of Directors. “They are joining the organization at an exciting time in our evolution. I’m sure their insights and perspectives will prove invaluable to our efforts to support the FDA and advance regulatory science.” 

Drs. Fajgenbaum, Hait, Hildreth, and Ms. Ness are joining the FDA Foundation Board comprised of exceptional leaders from academia, consumer health/safety, medical product and food industries, healthcare, and other disciplines: 

Board Chair Ellen V. Sigal, PhD, Friends of Cancer Research 
Vice Chair Richard L. Schilsky, MD, FACP, FSCT, FASCO, University of Chicago 
Secretary and Treasurer Allan Coukell, BScPharm, Civica 
Edward John Allera, Buchanan, Ingersoll, & Rooney PC 
Georges C. Benjamin, MD, MACP, FNAPA, FACEP(E), Hon FRSPH, American Public Health Association 
Christie Boutte, PharmD, RPh, National Association of Chain Drug Stores 
Helen Darling, MA, Strategic Advisor on Health Benefits and Health Care 
Phil Febbo, MD, Illumina 
Molly Fogarty, Nestlé 
Adrian F. Hernandez, MD, MHS, Duke University of Medicine 
Jonathan Leff, Deerfield Management 
Andrew von Eschenbach, MD, Samaritan Health Initiatives 
Lynne Zydowsky, PhD, Zydowsky Consultants, LLC

Senior Advisor to the Board Mark McClellan, MD, PhD, Robert J. Margolis Center for Health Policy, Duke University
Ex-Officio Robert M. Califf, MD, MACC, Commissioner of Food and Drugs, U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Ex-Officio Lawrence A. Tabak, DDS, PhD, Acting Director, National Institutes of Health   

The FDA Foundation Board’s leadership also expressed appreciation for the indelible contributions of outgoing Board members, founding Board member Kay Holcombe, MS, former Senior Advisor, Milken Institute Center for Public Health; Sally Greenberg, JD, Executive Director, National Consumers League; and founding Board member Garry Neil, MD, Chief Executive Officer at Avalo Therapeutics. 

“From the Foundation’s earliest days, their leadership and vision were instrumental in establishing and guiding the FDA Foundation through its inception to today,” remarked Helen Darling, MS, founding Board Member and Chair of the Board’s Governance Committee. “The FDA Foundation, and the field of regulatory science, are indebted to each of them for their long service, many contributions, and dedication.”

About the Reagan-Udall Foundation for the FDA

The Reagan-Udall Foundation for the FDA (FDA Foundation) is an independent 501(c)(3) created by Congress to advance regulatory science to help the U.S. Food and Drug Administration accomplish its mission. The FDA Foundation works to improve health and safety through stakeholder engagement and public-private partnerships that facilitate innovation, foster the use of real-world evidence, and identify modern tools and policies to keep pace with today’s rapidly evolving science.

Media Contacts:

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Mary McNamara
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