FPA 2009 Fall Dinner

Event offered by:
Foreign Policy Association

Event Details

Wednesday, November 18, 2009
6:30 PM - 10:00 PM 
New York Palace
455 Madison Ave (between 50th & 51st St.)
New York, NY
Event type

Event Transcripts and Video

2009 Fall Dinner honoring Dr. Margaret Hamburg, Commissioner of the United States' Food and Drug Administration.

Event Speakers

    • Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D. - Speaker
      Food and Drug Commissioner

      Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., was confirmed on May 18, 2009 by a unanimous Senate voice vote to become the 21st Food and Drug Commissioner. The second woman to be nominated for that demanding position, Dr. Hamburg is exceptionally qualified for her new job by her training and experience as a medical doctor, scientist and public health executive.

      In 1990, Dr. Hamburg joined the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene as Deputy Health Commissioner, and within a year was promoted to Commissioner, a position she held until 1997. During her tenure she was widely praised for her initiatives, decisive leadership, and significant public health measures she carried out despite severe budget constraints and while holding academic positions at Columbia University School of Public Health and Cornell University Medical College.

      Dr. Hamburg's accomplishments as New York's top public health official included improved services for women and children, a needle-exchange programs to reduce the spread of HIV, and the initiation the first public health bio-terrorism defense program in the nation. Her most celebrated achievement, however, was curbing the spread of tuberculosis. In the 1990s, TB resurged as a major public health threat, largely because many patients did not complete the full course of the treatment and the disease became resistant to standard drugs. Dr. Hamburg confronted the problem by sending health care workers to patients' homes and taking other steps to make sure they completed the drug regimen. Thanks to this program, in a 5 year span, the TB rate in New York City fell by 46% overall, and 86% for the most drug-resistant strains. Dr. Hamburg's innovative approach has become a model for health departments world-wide.