The Italian physicist is the first woman to hold the post and the first person to hold the position for two terms
“At its 195th Session today, the CERN Council selected Fabiola Gianotti, as the Organization’s next Director-General, for her second term of office.” This is the tweet with which The European Organization for Nuclear Research made the historical announcement. The Italian particle physicist is to continue as head of the CERN particle-physics lab near Geneva until 2025.
It is the first time in the organization’s history that a director-general has been appointed for a full second term.
The 59-year-old physicist joined CERN in 1994. From 2009 to 2013, she held the elected position of spokesperson (project leader) for the ATLAS experiment. In this position, she had the task of presenting the results on the discovery of the Higgs boson in a seminar at CERN on 4 July 2012. In 2016, she became the first woman to hold the position of CERN Director-General. And, on January 1st, 2021, she will begin her second term.
Ursula Bassler, president of the CERN Council, commented: “During [Gianotti’s] first term, she excelled in leading our diverse and international scientific organization, becoming a role model, especially for women in science”. She also added: “I’m delighted to see Fabiola Gianotti re-appointed for a second term of office. With her at the helm, CERN will continue to benefit from her strong leadership and experience.”
“I am deeply grateful to the CERN council for their renewed trust. It is a great privilege and a huge responsibility,” said Gianotti. “The following years will be crucial for laying the foundations of CERN’s future projects.”
Ilona Catani Scarlett
Cover ph: ATLAS Experiment © CERN