Monday, December 06, 2010

Canadians No, Australians Yes?

You could call it “The Canadian Citizenship Question.”

Robert Klein, the chairman of the $3 billion California stem cell agency, brought up the subject last week when he used it to explain why his hand-picked successor, a man from Canada, could not be voted on by CIRM directors. Canadians cannot chair the agency, Klein said last Thursday, because of “a technical legal requirement regarding citizenship.”

However, non-citizens can serve as president of the agency – the case in point being Alan Trounson, an Australian.

We wanted to know more about this situation. So we asked Don Gibbons, CIRM's communications chief, early Friday about the exact wording of the law. We renewed our query late that afternoon and again this morning. So far the agency has not responded.

During the weekend, however, we dug into the State Constitution and the law dealing with state personnel. Our quick look turned up nothing that would bar a Canadian from the chairmanship, but we could have easily missed something.

We will bring you exactly what CIRM has to say about all this when we receive a response.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9:54 PM

    Please do bring us exactly what Don Gibbons says on this citizenship issue.

    I predict it's gonna be a real juicy installment in this crazy loop-de-loop roller coaster of a pick-a-successor ride! But with CIRM, one never knows, I could just be real surprised!

    It sure seems like it's taking a long time to get an answer!