Friday, March 11, 2016

Update on California's Bob Klein: Former Chair of Stem Cell Agency at White House dinner, in Reno Apartment Construction Deal

Robert Klein, who is regarded by some as the father of California’s $3 billion stem cell research effort, surfaced in the news this week both in the White House and Reno.

Robert Klein, White House
news pool photo
The occasion in the White House was a state dinner last night honoring Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The Reno event was approval of a $90 million bond issue to finance an apartment development in Nevada backed by Klein, who is a Palo Alto real estate developer and the first chairman of the California stem cell agency.

The Web site,, said in a "sponsored post" March 8 about the bond financing:

"Robert Klein, the Co-Managing Partner of Sierra Summit LLC and President of Klein Financial Corporation, emphasized, “The project will bring high-quality architecture and a village design with the apartments developed in 12-, 18-, and 26-unit buildings, and courtyards, greenways, and recreational centers built into the project site plan.”

No news involving Klein emerged from the White House dinner, attended by about 200 persons, with the exception of his name on a list of guests.

Klein's stem cell visibility has diminished substantially since he left his post in 2011, replaced by the current chairman, Jonathan Thomas. Occasionally, Klein is mentioned in the media as promoting another bond issue for the stem cell agency that could total as much as $5 billion.

The agency subsists on money borrowed by the state (bonds), which roughly doubles the cost of the research because of interest expenses. The agency expects to run out of cash for new awards in 2020. It has no source of funding beyond that date, but is exploring possibilities.
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