A Door Closing ... or Opening?

December 9, 2009

As many of you are aware, D.J. Grothe is leaving the Center for Inquiry (CFI) to become president of the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF). D.J. has been with CFI for almost a decade, and from the beginning he was able to astound staff and supporters with his magic skills. If only he could use his powers to make some of our bills disappear ...

Anyway, losing a colleague is usually an unhappy occasion, but this is especially true when the colleague has proven himself to be a valuable member of the organization. D.J. has been such a colleague.

After I became CEO in June 2008, I had to establish a management committee. For a number of different reasons, the decisions about who to place on the committee were difficult. The CFI management committee is not a mere coffee klatch; rather the members of the management committee have substantial responsibilities and must be able to oversee significant operations of the organization. I selected D.J. as a member of the management committee, and I was not disappointed in my decision. (This is something I wish I could say for all my decisions).

But although we are saddened by his departure, we are also hopeful that we can continue to work with him in his capacity as president of JREF. In the last couple of years, CFI has made an effort to reach out to other organizations, both secular and skeptical organizations, in an effort to promote cooperative activities. JREF is one of those organizations. We do not view JREF as a "competitor." We view it as a peer organization, one which has much to offer the skeptical community. Further collaborative efforts between our organizations may be helped by the fact that to a significant extent, JREF's work and the work of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI) do not overlap; instead they are complementary. CSI publishes a first-rate journal, Skeptical Inquirer , and carries out investigations; JREF's focus is on its very successful annual meeting and appearances at special events by its "name" Randi and now, presumably, D.J.

No one at JREF or CFI/CSI possesses psychic powers, so we will just have to wait and see what the future brings, but I do hope this is a case of doors being opened, not closed.

In the meantime, please keep in touch D.J., and we don't just mean through telepathy.