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Partner, Washington, D.C.
Joseph Levitt is a 25-year veteran of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA); he served as Director of FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) for six years, from February 1998 through December 2003. Joe counsels numerous food companies and trade associations in food safety, labeling, and compliance matters and how to work effectively with the FDA, as well as on regulatory aspects of federal, state, and private litigation. He is particularly accomplished in helping companies that face significant compliance challenges with the FDA. He has superb knowledge of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), including all phases of its development and implementation.
Joe's deep knowledge of the FDA is reflected in the many roles he held at the agency. While serving as FDA/CFSAN Director, Joe was involved in virtually all aspects of food regulation. In particular, he led successful efforts to modernize food safety regulation and enhance the security of the U.S. food supply. He also initiated a revitalization of the FDA's nutrition program. Earlier in his FDA tenure, Joe functioned as the executive assistant to the commissioner, director of executive operations, chief of staff, and acting deputy commissioner in the Office of the Commissioner, where he helped streamline the new drug review process and launch the agency's food labeling initiative. Additionally, he served as Deputy Director for Regulations and Policy at the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health, where he led efforts to implement safe medical device and mammography quality standards programs. He began his FDA career in the Office of Chief Counsel as a litigating attorney.
In the private sector, Joe has served on the Boards of Directors for the: Food and Drug Law Institute (FDLI); Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN), recently rebranded as Food Allergy Research & Education, Inc. (FARE) (Board Chair, 2007); and FDA Alumni Association (Board Chair, 2012-14).
Joe has received numerous honors and awards in both the public and private sectors. Joe has repeatedly received a Top Tier ranking from Chambers USA for Food and Beverage lawyers. He also has been recognized as a BTI All-Star for excellence in client service. While at the FDA, Joe received three Presidential Executive Rank Awards as well as the HHS Distinguished Service Award, the HHS Secretary's Special Citation, the PHS Superior Service Award, the FDA Award of Merit (four times), the FDA Commissioner's Special Citation, and the FDA Equal Employment Opportunity Award. Joe has also received the FDLI Distinguished Service and Leadership Award, FDA Distinguished Alumni Award, and FDA Alumni Association Founders Award.
Joe received his bachelor's degree, magna cum laude, from Cornell University in 1975 and his J.D. degree, cum laude, from Boston University School of Law in 1978.
18 August 2014
"Safety Transportation of Food under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act," Feeding America Conference
14 August 2014
"Diversion of Food Waste to Animal Feed under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act," GMA/FMI Sustainability Summit in Boston
22 JULY 2014
"Role and Use of Nutritional Studies in Evaluating the Safety of a Food or Food Ingredient," ILSI North America Panel Discussion
10 JULY 2014
"Is the Addition Model for Tobacco and Alcohol Appropriate for Food?” Institute of Medicine Panel Discussion
6 APRIL 2014
"FSMA: What you MUST Know About the FSMA Proposed Rules in 2014: A Survival Guide," GMA Science Forum
Hogan Lovells Publications
02 June 2006
"Abigail Alliance: Creating a New Constitutional Right of Access to Experimental Drugs." Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Update, Hogan & Hartson LLP
25 February 2005
"FDA Drug Safety Reforms Take Shape." Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology Update, Hogan & Hartson LLP
04 April 2013
"FDA's Changing Culture: What Every Food Company Needs to Know." Food Safety Magazine
"Trends From 2011 FDA Warning Letters on Adulterated Food." Update, Food and Drug Law Institute
21 December 2012
"Interview: How to Implement Safe Measures for Food and Consumer Products." Inside Counsel, Summit Business Media
"New Food Safety Law to Strengthen Allergen Control Programs." Food Allergy News
"Time to Get Ready for FSMA." Dairy Foods
"Keeping America’s Food Supply Safe." A Century of Consumer Protection, Food and Drug Law Institute