Monday, April 04, 2011

Look for Candidates for Chair of Stem Cell Agency in Late May

The California stem cell agency, which did not have much choice about the matter, has decided to go along with a delay in picking a new chairman for the $3 billion organization.

Outgoing Chairman Robert Klein, who is scheduled to depart in June, said the CIRM board is "amenable" to postponing until May 23 nominations to fill his shoes. Four state officials – the governor, treasurer, controller and lieutenant governor – are charged with nominating candidates for the part-time position, which could pay as much as $400,000 annually.

The CIRM board is limited to electing a chairman from those candidates, although it does not have to accept any. If the board were truly unhappy with the nominations, presumably it could designate an acting chairman or simply let the vice chairman assume responsibility in absence of a chairman. The latter action probably would not even require a vote of the board. On the other side of the coin, the officials cannot be compelled to make a nomination.

Klein's brief letter, also signed by co-vice chairman Art Torres, to the nominating officials came in response to a March 24 letter from all four officials balking at a CIRM board request 10 days earlier for nominations by April 11. The officials said more time was needed because of the importance of the position.

Klein said,
"We appreciate your desire to find a high caliber leader to replace CIRM's current board chair and the board is amendable to your proposed schedule."


  1. Anonymous10:30 AM

    Amendable? Spell check, CIRM people.

  2. I will take responsibility for the word "amendable," which was a typing error on my part. Klein spelled it correctly.