Some More Thoughts on the Search for a New CIRM President

Yesterday I posted a list of a dozen potential candidates to be considered for the position of the new CIRM President.


To be clear, that list is not my list.

It is also not CIRM’s list and I’m sure that CIRM’s Search Committee has its own ideas of course.

The list in yesterday’s post was generated from my own private, informal survey of some people in the stem cell field that I respect.

My only goal with that post was to get a public discussion going on the very important question of who should be the new CIRM President.


Because frankly up until this point it’s been pretty much crickets chirping in terms of Californians talking about this situation. In others words, there was no public discussion excepting earlier efforts by David Jensen on his blog (hat tip).

I think I succeeded in getting a lot more people discussing this issue even if some folks may not like that list or certain aspects of it. I get that.

For example, three people independently contacted me to say in essence “this is a list of mostly white men”. You are right and I think that says something about the state of the field.

More ideas are popping up now too and boosting the range of diversity in the discussion.

A commenter on my list post today proposed Ellen Feigal be promoted from within to be the new President.

Another person in the stem cell field that I greatly respect suggested to me the idea that CIRM bring back its former top scientist, Arlene Chiu, to be the new President.

I should also note that diversity is very important to me and my own list of candidates, should I ever post one (we’ll see if I’m that crazy) would be more diverse on a number of levels than that generated by my survey and would include, for example, people with a proven track record of supporting advocacy and evidence-based medicine.

Let’s keep the discussion going.