Fabiola Gianotti to be Cern's first woman director general

Written By kom nampultig on Selasa, 04 November 2014 | 07.20

LONDON: For the first time ever, a woman will lead the world's leading laboratory for particle physics Cern — the European Organization for Nuclear Research.

On Tuesday, Cern council selected Italian physicist Dr Fabiola Gianotti as its next director-general and the first woman in its history to head the organization that sent ripples across the world by discovering the "God particle".

The appointment will be formalized at the December session of the Council.

Dr Gianotti will take over her new role from January 1, 2016 and run for a period of five years.

Dr Gianotti was the leader of the ATLAS experiment from March 2009 to February 2013, covering the period in which the LHC experiments ATLAS and CMS announced the long-awaited discovery of the Higgs Boson, recognised by the award of the Nobel Prize to Francois Englert and Peter Higgs in 2013.

"It is a great honour and responsibility for me to be selected as the next Cern director-general following 15 outstanding predecessors. Cern is a centre of scientific excellence, and a source of pride and inspiration for physicists from all over the world. Cern is also a cradle for technology and innovation, a fount of knowledge and education, and a shining, concrete example of worldwide scientific cooperation and peace. It is the combination of these four assets that renders Cern so unique, a place that makes better scientists and better people. I will fully engage myself to maintain Cern's excellence in all its attributes, with the help of everybody," Dr Gianotti said.

The Council rapidly converged in favour of Dr Gianotti.

"We were extremely impressed with all three candidates put forward by the search committee," said president of Council Agnieszka Zalewska. "It was Dr Gianotti's vision for Cern's future as a world leading accelerator laboratory, coupled with her in-depth knowledge of both Cern and the field of experimental particle physics that led us to this outcome. I would like to thank all the candidates for giving Council such a hard decision to make, and the search committee for all its hard work over recent months," he added.

"Fabiola Gianotti is an excellent choice to be my successor," said Cern Director General Rolf Heuer. "It has been a pleasure to work with her for many years. I look forward to continuing to work with her through the transition year of 2015, and am confident that Cern will be in very good hands."

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