Dr. Ursula Bassler Elected President of CERN Council

CERN’s council has announced the election of Dr. Ursula Bassler as its 23rd president. She replaces professor Sijbrand de Jong on January 1, 2019, and will serve for a period of at least one year.

“I know Dr. Ursula Bassler as a great physicist, someone who is totally devoted to particle physics and who also has significant administrative experience,” says professor de Jong. “She was unanimously elected and I am sure that she will do very well as the next president of the CERN Council, keeping up the collaborative spirit with great enthusiasm and passion.”

Ursula Bassler is currently deputy director at France’s National Institute for Nuclear and Particle Physics (IN2P3 – CNRS), but her impact was predicted back in 1993 when she earned her PhD at the Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris. She went on to work thereafter at the LPHNE Laboratory of Nuclear and High-energy Physics in Paris, where she studied the structure of the proton as a member of the H1 experiment at HERA, the unique electron-proton collider at DESY in Hamburg, Germany.

In 1998 she joined the DØ experiment at the Tevatron collider at Fermilab in the United States, where she worked on the DØ calorimeter designed to measure particle energies with high precision and contributed to improving our understanding of the properties of the top quark particle.

Between 2007 and 2013 she then headed the particle physics division at the Institute of Research into the fundamental laws of the universe at French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) in Saclay, France. And then, while at the IN2P3 directorate, she was involved in preparing the Institute’s contribution to the detector upgrades for the High-Luminosity LHC and in shaping France’s involvement in the European Open Science Cloud.

Bassler has participated throughout the years in several national and international committees, such as the international CVI committee based at INFN in Italy, the scientific council of DESY in Germany and HEPAP at the DOE in the United States. She also took part in the evaluation of the starting grants of the European Research Council and was a member of the LHC Committee at CERN and the LBNC Committee at Fermilab. Bassler has also been a delegate of the CERN council since 2016.

“CERN as an organization is essential to make progress in particle physics, as we need continuous, long-term efforts,”says Bassler. “During the upcoming update of the European strategy for particle physics, it will be important to design the vision for the future infrastructures in our field and to start laying out a path for their realization with the CERN member states and the global particle physics community. I’m looking forward to working as council president, together with the CERN directorate, the European strategy group and all delegations, on this challenging endeavor.”