Margaret Hamburg

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Margaret Hamburg
Margaret Hamburg official portrait.jpg
Commissioner of Food and Drugs
In office
May 22, 2009 – April 1, 2015
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Frank Torti (Acting)
Succeeded by Stephen Ostroff (Acting)
Personal details
Born (1955-07-12) July 12, 1955 (age 61)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Peter Fitzhugh Brown
Children 2
Alma mater Harvard University

Margaret Ann Hamburg (born July 12, 1955, Chicago, Illinois) is an American physician and medical/public health administrator. She served as the 21st Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration from May 2009 to March 2015.[1]

Margaret A. Hamburg at Spotlight Health, Aspen Ideas Festival, in 2015.

Hamburg graduated from Radcliffe College in 1977 and earned her M.D. from Harvard Medical School. She completed medical training at the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. In 1994 she became one of the youngest people ever elected to the Institute of Medicine (IoM),[2] the health and medicine branch of the National Academy of Sciences.[3] In April 2015 she was appointed foreign secretary of the Institute of Medicine.[4]

She has served as Vice President for Biological Programs, Nuclear Threat Initiative, Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and as Commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. She was nominated in March 2009 by President Barack Obama to become Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration,[5] and was sworn in on May 22, 2009.[6]

She has received numerous awards, among them the National Consumers League's Trumpeter Award in 2011[7] and the National Center for Health Research's 2011 Health Research Policy Hero Award.[8] She is a distinguished senior fellow with the Center for Strategic and International Studies.[2] She was appointed to the Board of Directors of Henry Schein, the largest provider of healthcare products and services to office-based practitioners in the combined North American and European markets, on November 3, 2003,[9][10] and served as a Director until she was confirmed as Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on May 18, 2009.

In 2014, she was listed as the 51st most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.[11]

Hamburg is the daughter of Beatrix Hamburg and David A. Hamburg, both physicians. Her mother was the first self-identified African-American woman to be accepted at Vassar College[12] and to earn a degree from the Yale University School of Medicine.[13] Her father is President Emeritus of the Carnegie Corporation of New York. She is married to Peter Fitzhugh Brown, an artificial intelligence researcher[2] and Co-CEO and Co-President of Renaissance Technologies, a hedge fund sponsor that was one of the world's first to employ quantitative trading.[14][15] They have two children.[2]


  1. ^ FDA head Margaret Hamburg to resign in March; Ostroff to be acting chief (Washington Post article-February 5, 2015)
  2. ^ a b c d Office of Research on Women's Health (25 March 2004). "Dr. Margaret Hamburg". Changing the Face of Medicine. National Institutes of Health. Retrieved 2009-03-06. 
  3. ^ In July 2015 the IoM became the National Academy of Medicine.
  4. ^ "Margaret A. Hamburg Appointed as Institute of Medicine Foreign Secretary". The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. April 6, 2015. Retrieved April 23, 2016. 
  5. ^ Gardiner Harris (11 March 2009). "Ex-New York Health Commissioner Is F.D.A. Pick". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-03-12. 
  6. ^ Gratzer, David (2009-05-21). "FDA commissioner". US FDA. Retrieved 2010-09-12. 
  7. ^ "2011 Trumpeter Recipient: Dr. Margaret Hamburg". Retrieved March 2015.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  8. ^ "2011 Foremothers & Health Policy Hero Awards". National Research Center for Women & Families. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  9. ^ Harris, Gardiner (11 Mar 2009). "Ex-New York Health Commissioner Is F.D.A. Pick". Retrieved 11 May 2014. 
  10. ^ "About". Retrieved 11 May 2014. 
  11. ^ "The World's 100 Most Powerful Women". Forbes. Forbes. Retrieved 26 June 2014. 
  12. ^ Streett, Laura (February 11, 2014). "Vassar's First Black Students". The Gargoyle Bulletin. Vassar College. Retrieved April 23, 2016. 
  13. ^ Peart, Karen N. (May 27, 2011). "School of Medicine honors its first African-American women graduates". Yale News. Yale University. Retrieved April 23, 2016. 
  14. ^ "Company Overview of Renaissance Technologies Corp.". Bloomberg News. Retrieved April 23, 2016. 
  15. ^ Rubenstein, Sarah (May 26, 2009). "FDA's Hamburg, Husband Have Health-Related Wealth". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved April 23, 2016. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Frank Torti
Commissioner of Food and Drugs
Succeeded by
Stephen Ostroff