Skip Navigation

Biography of the Acting Surgeon General

Rear Admiral Steven K. Galson, M.D., M.P.H.

Rear Admiral Steven K. Galson, M.D., M.P.H.

[original = 1.10MB]

Since October 2007, Rear Admiral Steven K. Galson, M.D., M.P.H., has served as the Acting Surgeon General of the United States. As the nation's top public health physician, the Surgeon General communicates the best science, evidence, and data to the American people in order for them to make healthy choices that impact their health, safety, and security. Additionally, he serves as the operational Commander of the Commissioned Corps of the United States Public Health Service, a uniformed force of 6,000 health professional officers dedicated to promoting, protecting, and advancing the health and safety of the people of the United States.

Prior to his appointment as Acting Surgeon General, he served as the Director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As the Director, RADM Galson oversaw CDER's broad national and international programs in pharmaceutical regulation and provided leadership for 2300 physicians, statisticians, chemists, pharmacologists and other scientists, as well as administrators whose work promoted and protected public health by ensuring that safe and effective drugs are available to the American public.

RADM Galson began his Public Health Service (PHS) career as an epidemiological investigator at the Centers for Disease Control after completing a residency in internal medicine at the Hospitals of the Medical College of Pennsylvania. He has held senior-level positions at the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy where he was the Chief Medical Officer, and the Department of Health and Human Services. Prior to his arrival at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), RADM Galson was the Director of the Office of Science Coordination and Policy, Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances, at the EPA. Dr. Galson joined FDA in April 2001 as the CDER Deputy Center Director and was appointed Director in July 2005.

RADM Galson received his Baccalaureate Degree from Stony Brook University in 1978, an M.D. from the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in 1983, and a M.P.H. from the Harvard School of Public Health in 1990. He is Board Certified in General Preventive Medicine and Public Health as well as in Occupational Medicine.

RADM Galson is the recipient of numerous PHS awards, including the Outstanding Service Medal for his leadership and management of CDER during a time of national crisis. He is also the recipient of three Secretary of Energy Gold Awards. Dr. Galson is member of the Institute of Medicine Forum on Drug Discovery, Development, and Translation and recently completed a term as member of the National Board of Medical Examiners. He is a regular peer reviewer for medical journals.