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JAMES O'HARA APPOINTED FDA ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS

 WASHINGTON, March 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Commissioner of Food and Drugs David A. Kessler, M.D., today announced that HHS Secretary Donna E. Shalala has appointed veteran reporter James A. O'Hara III as associate commissioner for public affairs for the Food and Drug Administration.
 "It gives me great pleasure to welcome someone of Jim's caliber to the agency," Kessler said. "Day in and day out, the FDA faces a communications task of enormous magnitude. With his outstanding ability and background, Jim will bring new vigor and direction to FDA's public affairs program."
 O'Hara was a reporter and editor at The Tennessean in Nashville from 1973 to 1990. Beginning in 1982, he was a political reporter, covering state government and state and national politics, including the 1984 and 1988 presidential campaigns. Before that, he was an education writer, editorial writer and a general assignment reporter for The Tennessean.
 In 1981, O'Hara was one of the 12 U.S. journalists chosen for the prestigious John S. Knight Fellowship at Stanford University. During the year-long program, he studied history and philosophy and travelled to Japan and Canada for briefings with leaders in government, business, and the arts. He was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for public service in 1990 and received numerous other journalism awards during his career at The Tennessean.
 O'Hara comes to FDA from the public relations firm Burson- Marsteller, where he has worked since 1990, most recently as senior vice president and director of media relations for its Washington office.
 O'Hara received a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Ind., and received his master of arts degree in English language and literature from the University of Chicago. Deputy Associate Commissioner for Public Affairs Donald C. McLearn has been acting in the position.
 O'Hara will be serving within FDA's Office of External Affairs. FDA is one of eight Public Health Service agencies within HHS.
 -0- 3/30/93
 /NOTE: TV Broadcasters please use open caption for the hearing impaired./
 /CONTACT: Betsy Adams of the Food and Drug Administration, 301-443-4177 or, after hours, 410-867-0679/


CO: Food and Drug Administration ST: District of Columbia IN: HEA SU: PER

KD -- DC0043 -- 1251 03/30/93 17:42 EST
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Date:Mar 30, 1993
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