CERN Council Appoints Fabiola Gianotti to Second Term of Office as CERN Director General

At its 195th session, the CERN Council selected Fabiola Gianotti, the organization’s director-general, for her second term of office. The appointment will be formalized at the December session of the Council, and Gianotti’s new five-year term will begin on January 1, 2021. This is the first time in CERN’s history that a director-general has been appointed for a full second term.

“I congratulate Fabiola Gianotti very warmly for her reappointment as director-general for another five-year term of office. With her at the helm, CERN will continue to benefit from her strong leadership and experience, especially for important upcoming projects such as the High-Luminosity LHC, implementation of the European Strategy for Particle Physics and the construction of the Science Gateway,” said Ursula Bassler, president of the CERN Council. “During her first term, she excelled in leading our diverse and international scientific organization, becoming a role model, especially for women in science.”

“I am deeply grateful to the CERN Council for their renewed trust. It is a great privilege and a huge responsibility,” said Gianotti. “The upcoming years will be crucial for laying the foundations of CERN’s future projects and I am honored to have the opportunity to work with the CERN member states, associate member states, other international partners and the worldwide particle physics community.”

Gianotti has been CERN’s director-general since January 1, 2016. She received her PhD in experimental particle physics from the University of Milano in 1989 and has been a research physicist at CERN since 1994. She was the leader of the ATLAS experiment’s collaboration from March 2009 to February 2013, including the period in which the LHC experiments ATLAS and CMS announced the discovery of the Higgs boson. The discovery was recognized in 2013 with the Nobel Prize in physics being awarded to theorists François Englert and Peter Higgs. Gianotti is a member of many international committees and has received numerous prestigious awards. She was the first woman to become the director-general of CERN.