Gottlieb has made the fight against teen tobacco use a keystone of his tenure, which began in April 2017. This week, the FDA called out more than a dozen retailers for allegedly selling e-cigarettes to teenagers. Last November, he threatened to pull e-cigarettes off the market en masse after what he called an “astonishing” rise in teen use.
Industry leaders have hailed Gottlieb as a consistent voice amid the tumultuous politics of Washington, DC. Last fall, Jon Bigelow, executive director of the Coalition for Healthcare Communication, called the Gottlieb-run FDA “a relative island of calm.”
“At a time when there is so much contention and dysfunction in Washington in so many areas, he’s come in with a science- and evidence-based approach to innovation in drug approval and regulatory processes,” Bigelow said last fall.
Prior to serving as FDA commissioner starting in April 2017, Gottlieb previously worked at the FDA during the administration of President George W. Bush as senior adviser to the commissioner as well as director of medical policy development. He has also worked in the private sector as a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a venture partner at New Enterprise Associates.