50 People to Watch in 2003
By Thomas K. Arnold, Tom Blair,
(page 5 of 10)Carol Lam
She’s both the first woman and the first Asian-American to lead the U.S. attorney’s office in San Diego. Just four days after she was sworn in last November, the Stanford Law School graduate and former Superior Court judge announced the first conviction resulting from the federal probe of the Peregrine Systems accounting scandal. And she’s promised more vigorous prosecutions to come.
Lam is no stranger to corporate hijinks; as a prosecutor in the U.S. attorney’s office from 1986 until 2000, she obtained a guilty plea and civil settlement of $110 million from National Health Laboratories in a Medicare fraud case. She also briefed and argued the first appellate case upholding the constitutionality of roving wiretaps. This year, Lam says, she plans to focus on fraud, the drug trade and protecting the border from the threat of terrorism.
This is Lewis’ first politically elected post—but he’s no stranger to San Diego City Council chambers. He spent 11 years working for District 4 Councilman George Stevens, the last five as Stevens’ chief of staff. It should be a seamless transition. “I’m just moving about 6 feet from where my desk has been,” says Lewis.
Asked to compare his style to that of his termed-out, outspoken predecessor, Lewis says: “I’m more quiet. I’m more of a consensus-builder. George is more aggressive and abrasive. There was a time and a need for that. But now it’s time for somebody who’s pro-business to be able to negotiate and bring business to our district.”
Musical visionary Lewis, a UCSD professor and recent recipient of a MacArthur Foundation $500,000, unrestricted “genius grant,” says he could listen to anything recorded by John Coltrane after 1965. But he doesn’t listen to Coltrane (another passionate experimentalist) or anyone else these days while he researches and writes two scholarly books.
One is on Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians; the other is a tome that seeks to define the role of improvisation in the performing arts. “If I listen while I write, I end up writing what I hear,” says the renowned composer and trombonist. Lewis says the grant money “gives me the main thing I need—time to think about the research and the writing.” Performing and recording, he adds, are “not uppermost in my mind” in the near future.
Call her the first lady of San Diego’s booming bioscience industry. Dr. Catherine “Kitty” Mackey, senior vice president of Pfizer Global R&D and site director of the pharmaceutical giant’s La Jolla research center, commands a medical think tank with a staff of 1,500 and research programs for cancer, viral diseases from the common cold to HIV/AIDS, diseases of the eye and diabetes/ obesity.
Governor Gray Davis, here for the dedication of the center’s new campus last May, said the center’s work “will advance global public health, a contribution all Californians should be proud of.”
Mackey says discovering and developing new medicines has become increasingly difficult due to stringent regulatory requirements, “but we’re very much committed to finding cures for these diseases. It’s all about innovation.”
She was part of the fledgling news operation Fox News started in October 1999. Three years later, London-born Martin jumped to San Diego’s other new news group on the block, KSWB-TV. She’s gone from Channel 6 to Channel 5 on most TV dials, but maintains the duty of co-anchoring a 10 p.m. newscast. “This is a better fit for me,” says Martin. “There’s a good chemistry here.
” WB News at Ten co-anchor Jeff Powers (and meteorologist Renee Kohn) worked with Martin at the CBS-TV affiliate in Santa Maria. Sorry to break any hearts—the easy-on-the-eyes Martin may be single, but she’s in a relationship. More on that breaking story as details arrive.