Friday, March 25, 2011

Gov. Brown and Others Seek Delay in Filling CIRM Chair Position

California Gov. Jerry Brown and three other top state officials are balking at making nominations as early as next month for the new chair of the $3 billion California stem cell agency.

In a letter to the CIRM board, Brown, Controller John Chiang, Treasurer Bill Lockyer and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom said they wanted to wait until possibly May 23.

The CIRM governing board on March 14 asked that nominations be made by April 11. The board had approved a timetable that would have made it possible for the board to fill the slot by its meeting early in May.

CIRM Chairman Robert Klein was re-elected in December to a six-month term but has made it clear that he would prefer to leave earlier.

Here is the entire text of the letter from Brown and the others to the CIRM board:
"Thank you for your letter of March 14 regarding the nomination process and
proposed April 11 deadline for nominations for the next chair of the Independent Citizens
Oversight Committee. As your letter makes clear, this position requires a high-caliber
leader who possesses a unique executive skill set and commitment to CIRM’s important
mission. Given that, we, the constitutional officers responsible for nominating candidates,
find that a meaningful, successful search and recruitment for this role would be difficult to
complete by your requested deadline. Therefore, we propose that the deadline for
nominations be extended to no later than May 23rd, which would provide our respective
offices with up to 60 days, a more reasonable period in which to complete this important

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