Sunday, February 07, 2010

Eugene Washington to Join CIRM Board

An academic executive who was a key figure in developing UC San Francisco's first-ever strategic plan is scheduled to become the newest member of the board of directors of the $3 billion California stem cell agency.

He is A. Eugene Washington, who became dean of the UCLA School of Medicine this month. Prior to assuming the job, he was executive vice chancellor, provost and professor of gynecology, epidemiology and health policy at UCSF. In 2005, he co-chaired the development of UCSF's first campus-wide strategic plan.

Mona Gable profiled Washington in a piece last month in UCLA Today. She quoted Nancy Adler, vice chair of the UCSF Department of Psychiatry and director of the Center for Health and Community, as saying,
“He has a capacity to see things in innovative ways and to get people to work together to do things. He’s really a consensus builder. Sometimes that can be waffly, but his capacity to have a strong vision and bring people along to share in it, rather than impose it on them, is what characterizes him.”
As executive vice chancellor, he oversaw areas dealing with conflicts of interest, industry contracting and information technology in the UCSF office of research. That experience may serve him well given CIRM's enormous reliance on outside contracting and its ongoing issues with its grant management system.

Washington's appointment has not been formally announced, as far as we can tell, although it was discussed at last week's CIRM board meeting. His predecessor, Gerald Levey, the former UCLA dean of medicine, has retired. However, Levey, who has been on the CIRM board since its first meeting, will be serving as Washington's alternate on the 29-member CIRM board. Given that situation, it is unclear whether Washington will be in regular attendance at CIRM. Sphere: Related Content

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