It's official: Yale University announced today that David A. Kessler, who has headed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the past 6 years, will be the next dean of the university's School of Medicine. ScienceNOW reported last month that Kessler had been offered the job.
Kessler, a pediatrician and a lawyer, will oversee an institution with 4000 faculty and staff, 1000 students, and a research budget of about $200 million a year. He will succeed Gerard Burrow, who announced last March that he planned to step down. In a memo to his staff last month, Kessler said he plans to leave FDA in late February and that Michael Friedman, currently deputy commissioner for operations, will be acting commissioner. Kessler will start his new job on 1 July. Kessler could not be reached for comment. But when asked whether he's planning to spend the next few months lying on a beach, an FDA official said "That doesn't sound like David Kessler."