Wednesday, April 18, 2007

CIRM Presidential Search: Semi-finalists in June

CIRM's presidential search committee met Tuesday only a few hours after President Zach Hall announced he was leaving early. Filling his vacancy has now become a more urgent matter.

John M. Simpson, stem cell project director of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumers Rights, monitored the conference call meeting. We asked him for his impressions. Here is what he sent.

CIRM is on a fast track to name the next president.

Tuesday's public session of the search committee meeting was short.

Lisa Piper (of the SpencerStuart search firm) gave an overview of the search process and said that SpencerStuart had gathered 450 names "using a variety of media including e-mail, phone and letters." There were also about 80 nominations.

From that pool SpencerStuart culled a "long list" of a dozen or so candidates that were to be discussed by the committee in the closed session. Plans were to cut that list to a short list of four to six candidates.

SpencerStuart would then interview and prepare reports on all on the short list for two-days of interviews by the search committee on May 11 and 12.

The plan is to select semi-finalists from the short list for presentation to the board for consideration at the June ICOC meeting.

I asked if Zach Hall's departure would have any impact on the time line. Most of the committee members did not seem to be aware of his early resignation.

Bob Klein responded by saying that CIRM had been run by an acting president and acting chief scientific officer when Zach was recently on vacation. The best course would be determined, he said, "in consultation with CIRM's senior staff to see what the proper solution would be."

"I am sure they will carry on in the tradition of excellence established by Dr. Hall," Klein said.
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