Califf Named Head of Medical Strategy, Policy At Alphabet

by A. Eugene Washington, MD, Chancellor for Health Affairs; President & CEO, DUHS, & Mary E. Klotman, MD, Dean, Duke University School of Medicine

Robert Califf alternate photo
Robert Califf, MD

Robert Califf, MD, Vice Chancellor for Data Sciences for Duke Health and Director of Duke Forge, will transition to a full-time role with the Alphabet Company, serving as Head of Medical Strategy and Policy and working across the Google Health and Verily enterprises, beginning November 18, 2019. This is an exciting opportunity for Dr. Califf and for Duke University, Duke Health and the School of Medicine as we explore new ways to partner to continue our shared quest to improve health nationally and globally.

Dr. Califf has been a tremendous leader for this institution for more than 35 years, and we want to thank him for his dedication and commitment to Duke. The Donald F. Fortin, M.D. Professor of Cardiology, in the School of Medicine, Dr. Califf was the founding Director of the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI), the world’s largest academic research organization. He served as Vice Chancellor for Clinical and Translational Research at Duke and as Director of the Duke Translational Medicine Institute.

After leaving Duke to serve as Deputy Commissioner for Medical Products and Tobacco and then Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Dr. Califf returned to Duke in 2017 to lead health data science and launch Duke Forge, the University’s new health data science center.

Most recently, he has been instrumental in development of the Duke AI for Health initiative. Dr. Califf attended Duke University and in 1978 graduated from the Duke University School of Medicine and began his residency training at the University of California - San Francisco. He returned to Duke in 1980 to complete a fellowship in cardiology and joined the faculty in 1982.

In a note, Dr. Califf wrote, “This is bittersweet. It’s been 50 years since I arrived at Duke. All but four of those years, I have spent here. Lydia and I have made great friends, and together with Duke colleagues we’ve made real progress in our quest to improve lives. Duke University has an incredibly bright future, and I am proud to always call it home.”

Dr. Califf will remain on faculty at Duke University as an adjunct professor in the School of Medicine. We will begin planning immediately to ensure the continued progress and success of Duke Forge and the AI for Health initiative.