Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Klein's Role as CIRM Chairman Emeritus

Robert Klein, left, at his last meeting as chairman of CIRM.
Klein's wife, Danielle, is in the center, with newly elected
chairman Jonathan Thomas on right. 
Bob Klein, who has spent the last six-and-half years as chairman of the $3 billion California stem cell agency, is now officially chairman emeritus.

So what does that mean, we asked agency spokesman Don Gibbons awhile back, and does it carry compensation? Gibbons replied,
"The role of the chair emeritus is to be determined. If he volunteers for a special project for CIRM in the future, the agency would probably cover his expenses, again TBD(to be determined) on a case-by-case basis."
Gibbons said Klein traveled last month at CIRM expense to the BIO convention in Washington, D.C., with newly elected CIRM Chairman Jonathan Thomas "to make introductions and hand off his connections."

Klein, a real estate investment banker, served most of his term without seeking compensation. In December 2008, the board authorized a $150,000, half-time salary. Klein stopped drawing that salary on Dec. 17, 2010, and served until June 23 without a salary. Gibbons said Klein received no severance or final payment.

Here is a link to the resolution the board approved last month designating Klein as chairman emeritus and recounting his contributions to the agency. Sphere: Related Content


  1. Anonymous8:20 AM

    I read this Resolution and while this reader has never been employed by the Golden State, I was surprised at its glowing -- even touchy, feely, I felt -- content.

    I don't know for sure, but I would guess this Resolution may be unique in that it seems to HEAP praise, upon praise, upon the departing employee (Klein). But, of course, I may be wrong.

    Maybe lots of these Resolutions are passed.

    Here are my questions:

    1) who drafted this Resolution?

    2) is the content of this Resolution common among government entities? For example, was such a Resolution passed at such time as the Governator departed office?

    3) has any other government employee, in recent history, received such an instrument like this Resolution?

    Government and the things it does. All very interesting indeed.

  2. Re the comment on the Klein resolution, such resolutions are common in many government situations. The legislature, for example, routinely approves such resolutions. They all tend to be effusiveness and filled with generous rhetoric. The Klein resolution is actually less filled with superlatives than some resolutions I have read. If you strip out the adjectives, it would be a reasonable summary of the positive aspects of Klein's tenure that many, including some of Klein's critics, would agree on. It does omit the negatives, but one would not expect to find those in such a document or on such an occasion. As for the author, my guess is that several hands were involved. Fundamentally, who drafted it is not important since the board unanimously approved it.

    On a different note, we very much appreciate comments on this blog, even those that take us to task. They help to maintain perspective, offering different interpretations and additional information on the issues involved. The more the merrier is our motto.

    Reader comments also inform us about what additional information is needed. The comment about the resolution sort of surprised me because such documents are relatively common in my experience. However, we all have different backgrounds and specialities. The comment on the resolution is a good reminder to never assume about shared background and information or at least practice considerable care in doing so. Again, thanks to all readers who file comments. We encourage more to do so.