Palo Alto, Calif, December 15, 2010 – Today the Governing Board of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the state stem cell agency created by proposition 71, voted to re-elect current chair Robert Klein. The board also re-elected both Senator Art Torres and Duane Roth to their roles as co-Vice Chairs.
Klein will serve for up to 180 days pro bono to aid in the process of identifying a new chair. The governance subcommittee was encouraged to meet soon to begin discussing the criteria for the new chair.
In a letter, board member Sherry Lansing wrote, “Bob’s, Art’s, and Duane’s extraordinary contributions to CIRM are well-documented and I have no doubt that their expertise, leadership, and commitment will continue to greatly advance the work of our vital organization.”
"While there are those who ask for me to serve a year, I believe that in six months we can accomplish the essential contribution that I can make during the transition to a new chair," said Robert Klein, Chair of the CIRM Governing Board. "I want the patients, scientists, and the constitutional officers and members of the legislature who have been so supportive to know that I will remain highly committed to the stem cell Intiative; but, after eight years my family needs my focus and I am certain we will find an extraordinary chair to lead this board. The board is comprised of remarkable individuals who are committed to driving therapies safely to patients for heart disease, cancer, diabetes, sickle cell anemia, paralysis and dozens more terrible chronic diseases and injuries."
Under Proposition 71, four Constitutional Officers (the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, the Treasurer and the Controller) are responsible for nominating candidates for Chair and Vice Chair of CIRM’s Governing Board. The Governing Board elects a Chair and a Vice Chair from among the nominees.
The Governor and Lieutenant Governor had both nominated Robert Klein as Chair; the Treasurer nominated Art Torres as Vice-Chair; the Controller nominated Art Torres as Chair and Jeff Sheehy as Vice-Chair.
"There has been no better advocate for patients and stem cell research than Bob Klein," said Jeff Sheehy, member of the CIRM governing board. "CIRM has made tremendous advances in the past six years that would not have come about without his leadership. Our vibrant discussions during the past six years have led to numerous projects jointly developed by Bob and I that have advanced the mission of bringing cures to patients everywhere."
In March 2009, the board changed the bylaws to create a second Vice-Chair and elected Duane Roth into that position. Since that time, Roth and Torres have served together as co-Vice Chairs. The press release from that decision is available here: /about-cirm/newsroom/press-releases/03122009/duane-roth-and-art-torres-become-cirm-vice-chairs.