publication date: Jan. 22, 2021

Sharpless employment status is unknown, but in previous transitions NCI directors have stayed on

By Paul Goldberg

On Jan. 20, as required, Ned Sharpless submitted his resignation letter to the outgoing administration. Other Trump appointees did the same.

At this writing, nothing has been said, but Ned Sharpless was at work on Thursday.

It’s not publicly known whether Sharpless will be staying in the short term or the long term in the Biden administration, which has focused on cancer research with unprecedented understanding of the subject.

Under the National Cancer Act, NCI directors are appointed by U.S. presidents. However, unlike NIH directors, they don’t have to be confirmed by the Senate.

In recent history, many NCI directors stayed on as administrations passed from Democrats to Republicans and back:

Jimmy Carter’s appointee Vincent T. DeVita stayed on through both terms of the Reagan administration (The Cancer Letter, Dec. 7, 1979; Aug. 10, 1988).

George H.W. Bush’s appointee Samuel Broder stayed on through the Clinton years (The Cancer Letter, Dec. 2, 1988; Dec. 22, 1994).

Bill Clinton’s appointee Richard Klausner served nine months into the George W. Bush’s first term (The Cancer Letter, July 28, 1995; Sept. 14, 2001).

George W. Bush’s appointee John E. Niederhuber stayed on through nearly a year-and-a-half into Barack Obama’s first term (The Cancer Letter, Sept. 8, 2006; July 9, 2010).

Among Trump appointees, Sharpless was an anomaly. He is neither a libertarian nor a social conservative. Peers regard him as the right man for the job. And last time anyone checked, his … Continue reading Sharpless employment status is unknown, but in previous transitions NCI directors have stayed on

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