As the Governor’s office has sought to keep its distance from the CPRIT affair, Rick Perry’s two new appointments to the CPRIT oversight board are bound to bear scrutiny.
Governor Rick Perry last Friday appointed two new members to the CPRIT oversight board, the first in a series of political maneuvers that are bound to mark the eventual re-launch of the embattled cancer research funding organization. Both appointees — Angelos Angelou of Austin and A. Gerry Geistweidt of Mason — are subject to approval by the Texas Senate, which currently finds itself mulling new, fast-tracked legislation that will seek to make CPRIT’s funding and operational mechanisms more transparent and accountable.
Governor Perry’s two appointments clearly indicate that the Governor’s office is looking to send a message in terms of the types of members who should oversee CPRIT. According to Bizjournals:
Angelou is founder and principal executive of AngelouEconomics and a former vice president of economic development for the Austin Chamber of Commerce. He is a founding member of the Site Selectors Guild, a fellow of the IC2 Institute and a member of the University of Texas College of Natural Sciences Advisory Council.
Perry’s other appointment in A. Gerry Geiswidt seeks to complement Angelou’s experience in the private sector and the chairing of another science-based advisory board with direct legal experience:
Geistweidt is a lawyer in private practice who is admitted to practice before the Texas Supreme Court, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas and U.S. Tax Court.
While we’ve yet to receive any in-depth comment from Rick Perry’s office, it is clear that the Governor’s new appointments are meant to demonstrate that the government will stuff CPRIT with administrators who are familiar with the law and understand the importance of remaining transparent during the review process as CPRIT moves forward after its funding scandals.