The CIRM Board is meeting today and will decide on its future Chair via an election.
There are two candidates, Jonathan Thomas (nominated by Bill Lockyer, the California state treasurer) and Frank Litvack, nominated by state controller, John Chang. Thomas is described as a Bond financier, while Litvack is an L.A. cardiologist and businessman with biotech leadership experience.
Both clearly have a lot to offer as potential Chairs of CIRM.
I am offering no opinion on which (if either) is better than the other, but these are very different guys with quite distinct backgrounds.
Scuttlebutt has it that Thomas, who is also an investor in Advanced Cell Technology, is a shoo-in, but I’m not so sure. Either way, I trust the CIRM board to make the best decision.
Whoever is elected will have very large shoes to fill as current Chair, Bob Klein, has done a truly amazing job.
It is also crucially important to point out that CIRM already has a leader and will continue to have its leader in the form of President Alan Trounson. Even so it is undoubtedly true that the Chair also has a great deal of power at CIRM.