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Former FDA Head To Join UT-Austin Medical School Faculty

Mark McClellan, who ran the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under George W. Bush, will focus on reforming medical care and lowering costs.

Former federal agency head Mark McClellan.

The University of Texas at Austin has hired a former federal agency head to join the faculty at its new medical school. 

Mark McClellan, who served as commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under President George W. Bush, will conceive and implement health reform initiatives designed to lower medical costs. He'll split his time between UT-Austin and his current employer, Duke University, where he is director of the Robert J. Margolis Center for Health Policy.

“Mark’s work will support efforts here and nationwide to revolutionize the way people get healthy and stay healthy," said Dr. Clay Johnston, inaugural dean of the medical school.

McClellan, a UT-Austin honors graduate, is a big-name hire for the still-developing medical school, which will enroll its first class of 50 students in the summer of 2016. In addition to his professional pedigree, he is part of a prominent political family: His mother is former Texas Comptroller and Railroad Commissioner and former Austin Mayor Carole Keeton Strayhorn, and his brother is former Bush 43 press secretary Scott McClellan.

“Real health care reform is hard to create and harder to put in place," McClellan said in a statement. "New approaches are needed to develop, implement and expand successful models. The Dell Medical School is bringing together critical resources to address these challenges and contributing to national leadership in health reform, making this a unique and important opportunity to affect change.”

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