The CERN Council today announced the election of Dr Ursula Bassler as its 23rd President, for a period of one year renewable twice, with a mandate starting on 1 January 2019. She will take over from Professor Sijbrand de Jong, who concludes his three-year term at the end of December.
‘I know Dr Ursula Bassler as a great physicist, someone who is totally devoted to particle physics and who also has significant administrative experience. 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,’ said Professor Sijbrand de Jong.
Ursula Bassler is currently deputy director at France’s National Institute for Nuclear and Particle Physics (IN2P3 - CNRS). After her PhD at the Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris, which she completed in 1993, she went on to work 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 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. Within the IN2P3 directorate, she was involved, in particular, 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.
Ursula Bassler has participated in several national and international committees, such as the CVI, the international committee that evaluated the activities of INFN in Italy, as well as 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. She has been a delegate of the CERN Council since 2015.
‘CERN as an organisation is essential to make progress in particle physics, as we need continuous, long-term efforts,’ said Ursula 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 realisation 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 endeavour.’