Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator

Director-General CERN; Board Member, GESDA

Born in Italy, Dr Gianotti obtained a PhD in experimental particle physics from the University of Milan in 1989. In 1994 she joined CERN as a research physicist and in 2013 was named an honorary professor at the University of Edinburgh. She is an associate member of the Italian Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences of the United States, the French Academy of Sciences, the Royal Society London, the Royal Irish Academy and the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Dr Gianotti has worked on several CERN experiments on topics such as detector R&D and fabrication, software development and data analysis. From March 2009 to February 2013 she held the elected position of project leader and spokesperson of the ATLAS experiment. On 4 July 2012 she presented the ATLAS results on the search for the Higgs boson in a seminar at CERN, which marked the official announcement of this discovery by the ATLAS and CMS experiments. She has received twelve honorary doctoral degrees from universities across the world and has served on several international scientific committees.

Dr Gianotti was awarded the Italian honour of “Cavaliere di Gran Croce dell’Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana”. She received the Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics, the Enrico Fermi Prize of the Italian Physical Society, the Medal of Honour of the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, the Wilhelm Exner Medal in Vienna and the Tate Medal of the American Institute of Physics for International Leadership. She was included in the Guardian’s list of the Top 100 Most Inspirational Women in 2011, ranked 5th in Time magazine’s 2012 Personality of the Year, included in Forbes magazine’s list of the Top 100 Most Influential Women in 2013 and 2017, and considered among the Leading Global Thinkers of 2013 by Foreign Policy magazine.

Dr Gianotti was appointed Director-General of CERN in November 2014 for the period from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2020; in November 2019 she was appointed for a second term, from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2025. That was the first time in CERN’s history that a Director-General was reappointed for a second full term.

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