Persis S. Drell is stepping down as director at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory at Stanford University, which is owned by the Energy Department’s Office of Science. According to the Nov. 1 announcement, Drell intends to resume her duties as a Stanford faculty member.
“My four years as laboratory director at SLAC have been exciting and rewarding,” Drell said in a statement, “but after a decade in lab management, I feel this is the right time for me to get back to my first loves of research and teaching. I couldn’t be more proud of what the staff at SLAC has accomplished.”
Drell served as the lab’s fourth director, beginning in 2007. During her tenure, SLAC moved from being a laboratory dedicated primarily to research in high-energy physics to a facility that is now seen as a world leader in advancing discoveries in several scientific disciplines. Under her leadership, for example, the lab began operating in 2010 the Linac Coherent Light Source, the world’s most powerful X-ray laser.
A university committee will search for Drell’s replacement, a process expected to be complete by mid 2012. Drell will stay on as director in the meantime.