CIRM Announces Leadership Transition

Tuesday, May 2, 2017, Oakland, CA: Today, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, CIRM, announced that its President and Chief Executive Officer, C. Randal Mills, Ph.D., will be leaving at the end of June to become the next President and CEO of the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP)/Be The Match®.    Maria Millan, M.D., will succeed Dr. Mills as interim President and CEO of CIRM pending further action by the agency’s Presidential Search Subcommittee and full board.

NMDP/Be The Match is a non-profit organization that delivers cures to patients in need of a life-saving marrow or cord blood transplant. The organization operates the national Be The Match Registry®–the world’s largest listing of potential marrow donors and donated umbilical cord blood units—matches patients with their marrow donor, educates healthcare professionals and conducts research so more lives can be saved. The organization also recently created a subsidiary—Be The Match BioTherapiesSM—that supports organizations pursuing new life-saving treatments in cellular therapy.

“CIRM has experienced a remarkable transformation since Randy’s arrival,” said Jonathan Thomas, Ph.D., J.D., Chair of CIRM’s Governing Board.  “He has taken the Agency to a new level by developing and implementing a bold strategic plan, the results of which include an 82% reduction in approval time, a 3-fold increase in the number of clinical trials, and a 65% reduction in the time it takes to enroll those trials.  CIRM’s mission is to accelerate stem cell treatments to patients with unmet medical needs, and under Randy’s leadership, CIRM has done just that.  The opportunity for Randy to lead a tremendously important organization such as NMDP is consistent with the values he demonstrated at CIRM, which put the well-being of patients above all else.  We will miss him, but know he will do great things at Be The Match.”

“For the past three years, it has been my honor to lead this team of exceptional professionals,” said Dr.  Mills.  “What this team has been able to accomplish in that time is remarkable by any objective measure and I thank them for their All In attitude and effort.  As a trailblazing institute, CIRM is setting new highs in productivity and efficiency and will continue to deliver on its mission under the leadership of Dr. Millan.  On a personal note, I will dearly miss working alongside this outstanding team and particularly want to thank JT and the Board for their unwavering support and guidance.”

“One of the most valuable contributions Randy has made at CIRM is the strength of the team he has assembled. Maria is exceptionally well qualified and completely engaged in the operations of CIRM, having worked with Randy as member of the leadership team that created and is executing the Strategic Plan. With her leadership, we are well positioned for continued success,” said Dr. Thomas.

Dr. Mills will continue to lead CIRM as CEO through the end of June.  Starting July 1st, Dr. Millan will take over the duties of President and CEO on an interim basis.

Dr. Millan currently serves as Vice President of Therapeutics for CIRM and was instrumental in developing and implementing the current strategic plan.  She received her general surgery training and transplant immunology postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School, and trained in solid organ transplantation at Stanford University School of Medicine, where she went on to serve as Associate Professor of Surgery and ultimately Director of the Pediatric Organ Transplant Program.  Maria received her Bachelor’s degree from Duke University and her M.D. from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

Dr. Thomas concluded, “We are grateful that Dr. Millan has agreed to serve as interim President and CEO. In July, I will convene a meeting of the Presidential Search Subcommittee to evaluate, in an orderly fashion, CIRM’s options regarding the appointment of a permanent CEO.”

About CIRM

At CIRM, we never forget that we were created by the people of California to accelerate stem cell treatments to patients with unmet medical needs, and act with a sense of urgency to succeed in that mission.

To meet this challenge, our team of highly trained and experienced professionals actively partners with both academia and industry in a hands-on, entrepreneurial environment to fast track the development of today’s most promising stem cell technologies.

With $3 billion in funding and approximately 300 active stem cell programs in our portfolio, CIRM is the world’s largest institution dedicated to helping people by bringing the future of cellular medicine closer to reality.

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Contact: Kevin McCormack at 415-396-9813 or cell 415-361-2903 or