Pfizer hired onetime Gore advisor turned healthcare think tanker Gregory Simon to head its global policy efforts as the industry gears up for a health reform fight in Washington.

As SVP, worldwide policy at Pfizer, Simon will report to Sandy Beaty, head of policy and government relations, and assumes responsibility for counsel and action on healthcare, science and technology policy issues. He joins the company from FasterCures, a Milken Institute project he headed as president. FasterCures advocates measures aimed at streamlining biomedical R&D.

Simon served on President Obama’s transition team and, in 2007, was appointed to the Google Health Advisory Council. From 1993 to 1997, he was chief domestic policy advisor to Vice President Gore, in which capacity he oversaw key initiatives including programs at the NIH, the National Cancer Institute, the FDA and the Human Genome Project. Before that, he was Sen. Gore’s legislative director from 1991 to 1993 and served as staff director of the Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee of the House Committee on Science Space and Technology from 1985 to 1991.   

Nature magazine recently dubbed him one of its “Ten People To Watch” in healthcare policy, citing him as one of “a handful of influential people who quietly keep the wheels of biomedical science turning.”

In a statement, Pfizer chairman and CEO Jeff Kindler said: “Greg and his record of leadership are well-known to us at Pfizer. He shares our commitment to good health and great science, and to shaping policies that unleash the power of innovation so that more people can gain greater access to safe and effective new treatments. He joins us at a pivotal time as we advocate comprehensive healthcare reform in the United States; move into new therapies, such as vaccines; and bring forward a host of new treatments, including many for cancer, to clinical trials.”