Welch returns to ODSP as deputy director

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Regulation Dietary supplement

Cara Welch, PhD has been named deputy director of the Office of Dietary Supplements. Welch replaces Bob Durkin, who recently left FDA for a private law practice.

Welch had been with ODSP previously before moving to a position last year as special assistant to FDA’s deputy commissioner for policy, legislation and international affairs.

“Cara is an authority on dietary supplement matters and has served FDA in a number of roles since joining the agency in 2014,” ​said ODSP director Steven Tave. “Cara played a critical role in ODSP’s creation and, as the office is poised to take the next step in our growth, her background and experience mak​e her the ideal person to help shape ODSP’s next chapter.”

Additionally, Tave announced that Sibyl Swift, Ph.D., has been named associate director for research and strategy.

“Swift has played a leading role in some of ODSP’s most significant and cross-cutting initiatives over the past few years, including our work to protect consumers from the dangers of pure and highly concentrated caffeine and the creation of the Botanical Safety Consortium, in addition to managing the office’s research portfolio,”​ Tave said. “In this new capacity, she will help ensure strategic alignment between our scientific and research activities and our compliance, enforcement and policy initiatives, and she will continue to serve as a principal liaison with both internal and external partners.”

Swift’s appointment is effective immediately while Welch is expected to return to ODSP around Thanksgiving.  Prior to her work at FDA Welch was vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs at the Natural Products Association.

Welch was with ODSP during the comment period on the two New Dietary Ingredients Draft Guidance.  She rejoins ODSP during a time in which FDA is wrestling with a similar process on the many comments that the agency has received in the wake of its meeting earlier this year on the regulatory position of hemp/CBD ingredients.

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