President Donald Trump picks Dr. Scott Gottlieb to head the FDA

Former Food and Drug Administration official Scott Gottlieb is President Donald Trump's pick to become the new leader of the agency, the White House announced Friday night, confirming multiple news reports he'd be tapped for the job.

Gottlieb, 44, is a doctor and former deputy commissioner of the FDA who has served as a partner in venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates and a fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute since leaving the ranks of government.

"He has been the drug industry's preferred choice for the FDA job and has worked as a consultant to some of its companies," according to Bloomberg Politics, which cited sources naming Gottlieb as Trump's likely choice in a Friday morning story.

As with many of Trump's cabinet selections, Gottlieb's emergence drew mixed reviews.

Pharmaceutical industry executives, according to the New York Times, breathed easier after hearing Trump would opt for Gottlieb because "another top contender, Jim O'Neill, held radical views that would have gutted standards for drug approval trials and testing."

But critics, NPR noted, still protest that Gottlieb is too cozy with the drug industry and may be overly anxious to deregulate it.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb worked at the FDA as a deputy commissioner in the past.Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Gottlieb, of Connecticut, "earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Wesleyan University in 1994. He also holds a Doctor of Medicine from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in 1999 where he also completed his internship and residency," the White House said in a statement Friday night.

He became deputy FDA commissioner for medical and scientific affairs in 2005.