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Top Changes At Stanford Accelerator

Administrative: SLAC National Accelerator facility director Persis Drell will step down

by Jeff Johnson
November 2, 2011

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.


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