Margaret Hamburg

Obama nominates FDA's No. 2 official to lead agency

President Barack Obama has nominated the Food and Drug Administration's second-highest ranking official, Dr. Robert Califf, to lead the agency, which regulates consumer products ranging from medications to seafood to cigarettes.

The White House made the announcement late Tuesday in a statement naming officials nominated for various federal posts.

If confirmed by the Senate, Califf would take the reins at a critical juncture for the agency, which is under pressure from Congress to streamline regulations for medical products.

Califf, 63, joined the FDA as deputy commissioner in March after more than 30 years as a prominent cardiologist and medical researcher at Duke...