Friday, June 17, 2011

Race for the Chair: A Reading List on Selection of a New Chairman of the $3 Billion California Stem Cell Agency

Jonathan Thomas (left) and Frank Litvack
Here are links to information concerning the selection of a new chairman of the $3 billion California stem cell agency, including items on the California Stem Cell Report and documents posted by the state's stem cell agency. It is not a complete compendium, however, of all news coverage or CIRM documents. Links within the articles will take you to additional information, including primary source material. The links to items on the California Stem Cell Report are excerpts and headlines from the actual item. (This list was updated June 22.)

Criteria for the chairmanship

March 22, 2010
Trounson's Criteria for New CIRM Chairman
CIRM President Alan Trounson has offered in writing his thoughts on the qualities that should be reflected in a person who may succeed Robert Klein as chairman of the $3 billion stem cell research effort next December.

March 4, 2011 -- Outgoing Chair Robert Klein's lengthy memo on the role of the chair.

March 10, 2011
CIRM Directors Move to Alter Role of Chair of $3 Billion Stem Cell Program
Directors of the California stem cell agency, in sharply divided moves, today said that its next chairman should serve in a part-time capacity in largely an oversight role.


Candidate Statements
The June 5 and June 6 items below carry verbatim statements from the two candidates that can only be found on the California Stem Cell Report.

June 5, 2011
Litvack Envisions Oversight Role for CIRM Chair, Shoring Up 'Messaging' and Industry Ties
Los Angeles cardiologist/businessman Frank Litvack, a candidate for chair of the $3 billion California stem cell agency, says he regards the job as part-time and says that the chair should not be involved in day-to-day management.

June 6, 2011
The CIRM Chair Race: Candidate Thomas Touts His Public Finance Experience
In his first appearance before directors of the $3 billion California stem cell agency, bond financier Jonathan Thomas, a candidate for the chairmanship of the agency, stressed his professional background as an investment banker and attorney and his service on government boards.

June 2, 2011
The Candidate's Letters: What Thomas and Litvack Have to Say
Here is a brief look at the letters of interest submitted to the board of the $3 billion California stem cell agency by two men in pursuit of a six-year appointment as its new chairman. First the item on Jonathan Thomas, then Frank Litvack. CIRM directors begin evaluating the men on Monday.


News Coverage of the Nomination Process

May 24, 2011
Nature Says CIRM Faces 'Stark Choice" in New Chairman
Nature magazine today weighed in with its story on the nominations for the new chairman of the $3 billion California stem cell agency.

Minimal News Coverage on CIRM Chair Nominees
The latest news coverage of selection of a new leader for California's $3 billion stem cell agency is meager, to say the least.

May 23, 2011
Litvack vs. Thomas for Chair of the $3 Billion Stem Cell Agency
California State Controller John Chiang today nominated Frank Litvack, a "serial entrepreneur" and cardiologist, to become the new chairman of the $3 billion California stem cell agency.

Southern California Investor Nominated for Chair of the State's Stem Cell Agency
California Gov. Jerry Brown and the state's treasurer, Bill Lockyer, today nominated the head of a Southern California bond investment firm, Jonathan Thomas, as a candidate to become the new chairman of the $3 billion California stem cell agency.

May 18, 2011
Southern California Investor Identified as Possible Candidate for CIRM Chair
Robert Klein, chairman of the $3 billion California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, is backing the head of a Southern California investment firm to succeed him at the helm of CIRM as it pushes aggressively to bring stem cell therapies into the marketplace, according to a reliable source. However, James Harrison, outside counsel to the CIRM board, flatly denied that Klein has endorsed any candidate.

May 19, 2011
Cardiologist/Entrepreneur Eyed for Stem Cell Agency Chair
A Los Angeles cardiologist who is also described as a "serial entrepreneuer" is under consideration as a possible candidate for chairman of the $3 billion California stem cell agency.

June 20, 2011
State Treasurer Boosts Chair Candidate with Strong Letter of Support

California State Treasurer Bill Lockyer today urged his five appointees to the board of the $3 billion state stem cell agency to vote this week for a Los Angeles bond investor as the new chairman of the research enterprise.

June 22, 2011
Race for the Chair: Blowback, Politics and CIRM Financing
A strongly worded letter from California state treasurer Bill Lockyer concerning this week's election of a new chairman of the state's $3 billion stem cell agency could be triggering a bit of blowback for the candidate backed by Lockyer.

Endorsements

May 31, 2011
Litvack Picks Up Public Support for Bid to Become Chair of Stem Cell Agency
The Consumer Watchdog organization today endorsed a Los Angeles cardiologist as the new chairman of the $3 billion California stem cell agency, declaring that it is time to "correct the agency's dysfunctional management structure."

Endorsement letter from the president of the Genetics Policy Institute supporting Litvack

CIRM executive structure

June 12, 2011
CIRM Directors Tackle Touchy Management Issues
Key leaders of the California stem cell agency have scheduled a 60-minute meeting tomorrow to decide long-standing, thorny matters at the $3 billion enterprise, ranging from the province of the new chairman and the current president to just exactly who is a senior officer of CIRM.

June 14, 2011, CIRM memo summarizing changes in management structure

June 14, 2011, text of new management structure/internal governance policy

Chair Salary

April 2, 2011
Sacramento Bee Whacks Pay Plan for New CIRM Chair
In case you missed it, The Sacramento Bee editorialized last week about the $3 billion California stem cell agency, deploring its much-criticized, dual-CEO structure and the possibility of a $400,000 salary for a new, part-time chairman.

March 24, 2011
Papering over the Pay Problem at CIRM: When is a $400,000 Salary Not $400,000?
Three top leaders of the California stem cell agency have come up with a plan that they hope will allow CIRM to avoid the wrath of the public when its new chairman is paid a salary that could be seven times the income of an entire, typical California household.

2010 attempt to find a new chair

Dec. 13, 2010, letter from state Controller John Chiang, who said the process was "fundamentally flawed."

Dec. 15, 2010
Klein Given New, Six-Month Term as Chairman; Board to Examine Criteria for Replacement
Directors of the California stem cell agency today re-elected Robert Klein as chairman of the $3 billion enterprise, culminating a weeks-long flap that included closed-door dealings, allegations of “sleazy” conduct and dubious, last minute financial warnings about CIRM's financial condition.

Dec. 16, 2010
Nature Magazine Says Bernstein Is Still A Possibility for CIRM Chair
Canadian scientist Alan Bernstein is not necessarily off the table as a candidate to become the next chairman of the $3 billion California stem cell agency, Nature magazine's Web site is reporting today.

Dec. 5, 2010
The Biopolitical Times Recounts the "Sordid" Saga at CIRM
The Center for Genetics and Society, which has not written much recently about the California stem cell agency, has posted its perspective on the latest events involving the election of a new chair at the $3 billion enterprise.

Dec. 6, 2010
Read This Item to See What CIRM Has Expunged From Its Web Site
With one day left before Wednesday's meeting of the directors of the California stem cell agency, the public can find much to mull over by reviewing the agenda for the session. But no one will find anything on three matters that have been expunged from CIRM's Web site. They deal with the less than artful attempt by CIRM Chairman Robert Klein to engineer the selection of his successor.

Dec. 5, 2010
Klein's Maneuvers, CIRM's Reputation and Bernstein's
A Canadian scientist yesterday pretty much identified a bottom line on the attempt by CIRM Chairman Robert Klein to hand pick his successor at the $3 billion public research agency. In an interview with the Toronto Globe and Mail, Alan Bernstein said the publicity about the machinations “compromises his international reputation and the reputation of the [California] agency.” Sphere: Related Content

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