Thursday, July 12, 2007

CIRM Directors Still Looking for New President

Directors of the California stem cell agency this morning met again behind closed doors to discuss candidates to head the $3 billion research effort but adjourned without announcing a decision.

The search is now into its seven month. CIRM's first president, Zach Hall, announced his plans to leave early last December. The agency has been without a permanent president since the beginning of May, when Hall departed.

The Oversight Committee could have acted this morning. The matter of presidential compensation and candidates was properly noticed on its agenda. But virtually the entire teleconference meeting, which included a link to one director in Portugal, was in executive session, and no announcements were made during the public segment.

John M. Simpson
, stem cell project director for the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, asked during the public portion whether a new president would be named prior to the directors meeting in August.

Chair Robert Klein replied that artificial timelines could not be imposed and and that the search must focus on finding a president with the right scientific vision for the agency, according to CIRM officials. Previously the Oversight Committee had expected to fill the position in June.

Klein may call another presidential meeting within the next 10 or 15 days.

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