Skip to main content

Andrew von Eschenbach, M.D.

Senior Advisor; President of Samaritan Health Initiatives, Inc.

Headshot of Andrew von Eschenbach, M.D.

Dr. Andrew C. von Eschenbach serves as Senior Advisor to BPC’s Health Innovation Initiative. He also serves as the president of Samaritan Health Initiatives, Inc. and as an adjunct professor at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

From 2006 to 2009 von Eschenbach served as Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), where he championed an agenda to improve the regulatory pathway for drugs and medical devices and fostered creative projects, including the FDA’s Critical Path Initiative (designed to bring modern tools of science to the product development process); the FDA’s Food Protection Plan; and several workforce initiatives, such as an agency-wide fellowship program and the development of a new integrated campus for the agency in White Oak, MD. Under his leadership, the FDA experienced dramatic increases in resources, which strengthened its mission to protect and promote public health.

Prior to joining the FDA, von Eschenbach served for for four years as Director of the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health, where he set an ambitious goal to eliminate  suffering and death due to cancer by rapid acceleration and integration of the discovery-development-delivery continuum.

Von Eschenbach entered government service after three decades as a physician, surgeon, oncologist, and executive that included numerous leadership roles, from Chairman of the Department of Urologic Oncology to Executive Vice President and Chief Academic at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

An internationally renowned cancer specialist and author of more than 300 scientific articles and studies, von Eschenbach has served in numerous leadership roles, including as one of the founding members of the National Dialogue on Cancer. In 2006, Time Magazine named von Eschenbach one of its “100 most influential people to shape the world,” and in both 2007 and 2008, he was selected as one of the Modern Healthcare/Modern Physician’s “50 Most Powerful Physician Executives in Healthcare.”

Von Eschenbach earned a B.S. from St. Joseph’s University in his native Philadelphia and his medical degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C. He served as a Lt. Commander in the U.S. Navy Medical Corps. After completing a residency in urologic surgery at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, he was an instructor in urology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He completed a Fellowship in Urologic Oncology at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

He has been married to his childhood sweetheart, Madelyn, for over 40 years, and they are proud parents of four children and elated grandparents of seven.