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Rear Admiral (RADM) Denise Hinton

Deputy Surgeon General
United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps
As Deputy Surgeon General, Rear Admiral (RADM) Denise Hinton advises and supports the U.S. Surgeon General regarding operations of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps and in communicating the best available scientific information to advance the health of the nation.

From July 2017 to October 2021, RADM Hinton served as Chief Scientist at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). She provided strategic leadership, coordination, and expertise to support scientific excellence, innovation, and capacity to achieve FDA's public health mission. RADM Hinton’s responsibilities encompassed interdisciplinary toxicology research, health informatics, technology transfer, scientific training and education, laboratory safety, as well as leadership, coordination, and oversight for FDA’s national and global health security, counterterrorism, and emerging threats portfolios. Working closely with various FDA centers and field operations, RADM Hinton promoted the adoption of cross-cutting, collaborative activities and initiatives, including One Health, a recently formalized FDA initiative that is leveraging innovative science and research to solve health problems resulting from the increasing interconnection between humans, animals, and their shared environments. RADM Hinton’s public health leadership expertise also played a pivotal role in FDA’s COVID-19 Agency Executive Group pandemic response efforts.

Before becoming Chief Scientist, RADM Hinton held various leadership positions within the FDA, including Deputy Director of the Office of Medical Policy (OMP) in FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), where she concurrently served as Acting OMP Director from 2014 to 2016. There, she led the development, coordination, and implementation of medical policy programs and strategic initiatives, including the efficient integration of rapidly evolving science and new technologies into the drug development and regulatory review processes. RADM Hinton’s work involved close collaboration with other CDER program areas, FDA product centers, and a broad variety of stakeholders, including industry and academia. RADM Hinton joined FDA in 2002 in CDER’s Division of Cardiovascular and Renal Products and, later, served in the center’s former Division of Training and Development.


Prior to joining the USPHS Commissioned Corps, RADM Hinton served in the U.S. Air Force as a nurse officer. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Florida State University and her Master of Science from Boston University. RADM Hinton is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.


RADM Hinton received numerous awards for her contributions to science and public health including a USPHS Meritorious Service Medal. She is the recipient of the Department of Health and Human Services Award for Excellence in Management for making significant and enduring contributions to FDA’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. She also earned an FDA Commissioner’s Special Citation, one of the highest honors bestowed by the FDA. Additionally, RADM Hinton was recognized by the Maryland Governor with a Governor’s Citation for efforts in combatting the opioid epidemic.


RADM Hinton is a proud mother of two children, Dominique (daughter) and Derrick (son) Hinton.

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