Thursday, September 06, 2007

Fresh Bustling in CIRM Presidential Search

The search for a new and permanent chief executive officer to direct the world's largest single source of funding for human embryonic stem cell research is generating a flurry of activity this month.

Robert Klein, chairman of the Oversight Committee for CIRM, scheduled a special teleconference meeting Sept. 14 of the full Oversight Committee at 3 p.m. and a meeting of the presidential search committee at 5 p.m. Another meeting of the search committee is scheduled for Sept. 28. (You can find the agendas and teleconference locations here.)

Topics on the agenda include compensation. Despite a salary range for the position that reaches $412,500 annually, the amount does not appear enough. The cost of housing in the San Francisco area appears to be one of the reasons. Other issues as well seem to be raising difficulties in finding a new president. (Search on the label "presidential search" to see full details.)

Similar rounds of meetings, which are conducted almost entirely behind closed doors, have occurred in the past with no result. The $3 billion agency has been operating on a lame-duck status for nine months since the former president, Zach Hall, announced his plans to retire.

Early in August, the Oversight Committee hired Richard Murphy, former head of the Salk Institute, to serve as interim president for six months.

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