C. Randal Mills, President and Chief Executive Officer
C. Randal Mills, Ph.D., is President of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM).
Prior to joining CIRM in May 2014, Mills was the former President and CEO of Osiris Therapeutics. Under Mills’ leadership Osiris developed the world’s first approved stem cell drug, remestemcel-L for graft versus host disease in children, a devastating complication of bone marrow transplantation that can be fatal.
Mills, a member of the stem cell agency’s Grant Review Board for the past five years, was at Osiris for almost ten years before stepping down last December. Prior to that he served in several executive leadership roles with RTI Biologics Inc., and was a founding member of that company’s predecessor, the University of Florida Tissue Bank. He also served, at the appointment of the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, as a voting member of the National Institutes of Health and AIDS Research Advisory Council and was vice chairman of the American Association of Tissue Bank’s Standards Committee.
Mills has a bachelor’s degree in microbiology and cell science and a Ph.D. in drug development from the University of Florida.
Jonathan Thomas, Chairman, Independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee
Jon Thomas is a Co-Founding Partner at Saybrook Capital (“Saybrook”), an investment banking and private equity firm based in Santa Monica, California.
Long interested in the biological sciences, Thomas majored in Biology and History at Yale, where he graduated summa cum laude. As a George C. Marshall Scholar at Oxford, he then earned a PhD with a medical focus in Commonwealth History. He subsequently returned to Yale for a JD at the Yale Law School. While there, Thomas retained an involvement with biology by teaching courses on the legal implications of genetic engineering and the impact of disease on history.
Thomas has a long-standing commitment to patient advocacy. He spent more than 15 years on the Board of the Crippled Children’s Society of Southern California and served as chair for four years. The organization, now called AbilityFirst, assists children with spinal cord injuries and mental disabilities that could be targets of stem cell therapies. Thomas currently serves as a member of the AbilityFirst Board.
Senator Art Torres (Ret.), Vice-Chair
Senator Art Torres (Ret.) was unanimously elected statutory Vice Chair of the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee, the governing Board of the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). He is a colon cancer survivor and serves on the Board as a patient advocate.
Between 1996 and 2009, Torres served as the Chair of the California Democratic Party. He previously served twenty years in the California Legislature, eight as a member of the State Assembly and twelve as a State Senator. Torres chaired the Senate Insurance Committee, Senate Toxics Committee, the Assembly Health Committee, and the Senate Joint Committee on Science and Technology.
A longtime leader on health issues, Senator Torres co-authored the California Clean Water Drinking Act, Proposition 65, and created the sole toxic reporting repository that helps scientists determine environmental and health impacts “a data source that really no one else has on the planet.” On July 18th 2015, he was appointed to California's Health Benefit Exchange Board to help oversee the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) in California.
He is currently on the Board of "One Legacy," an organ transplant foundation in Los Angeles, and the Latino Community Foundation of the Bay Area.
Senator Torres holds a Bachelor's Degree from UC Santa Cruz and a Juris Doctorate degree from UC Davis School of Law. He also served as a John F. Kennedy teaching fellow at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.