Thursday, March 12, 2009

Roth and Torres Chosen as Vice Chairs of CIRM

This item is part of the continuing coverage today of the board meeting of the California stem cell agency based on its audiocast.

The board of the California stem cell agency today unanimously elected two vice chairpersons – Art Torres, who is the head of the state Democratic Party, and Duane Roth, who has biomedical industry connections.

The board also voted to approve a $75,000, halftime salary for Torres(photo on left). Roth(on right) is a current member of the board of directors and is rejecting a salary. He receives $112 a day for CIRM meetings and $14 an hour for meeting preparation.

John M. Simpson
, stem cell project director for Consumer Watchdog of Santa Monica, Ca., suggested the salary should be $90,000 although he has been critical of much higher salaries at the agency. However, Bob Klein, chairman of the agency, indicated that the vice chair deal had already been worked out. The implication of Klein's remark was that changing the terms at this point could make things come unglued.

The vote came after several board members noted that the men bring different, high level skills that will enhance what CIRM is attempting to do.

Director Sherry Lansing, former head of a Hollywood film studio, said the agency had a "high class problem" when the two men were nominated. She electing both will total more than two – more like five.

Lansing is co-chair of the CIRM Governance Subcommittee. She and her co-chair, Claire Pomeroy, dean of the UC Davis School of Medicine, were the key players in putting together the dual vice chair plan. Sphere: Related Content

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