A Change in Leadership

society,Rolf Heuer,Anne Richards,Life at CERN
Rolf, Anne and Peter at the first CERN & Society Foundation Board Meeting (Image: CERN)

With deep gratitude for their contributions and commitment, we announce today that the Chair of the CERN & Society Foundation Board, Anne Richards, and the Deputy Chair and Board Member designated by CERN, Peter Jenni, have completed their second and final terms with the CERN & Society Foundation Board.

Anne and Peter, together with Rolf Heuer, were among the three founding Board Members of CERN & Society Foundation at its establishment in 2014. They helped to define the strategy of the Foundation and set it firmly on the path towards spreading the spirit of CERN scientific curiosity for the inspiration and benefit of society. Under their leadership, CERN & Society has had an extensive impact on society through its varied programmes: 9,500 high-school students have been engaged with STEM disciplines, more than 190 graduates have been trained, partnerships with more than 80 organisations have been established and the biggest venture yet, the Science Gateway Project, has been launched.

Anne Richards first began her association with CERN as a summer student and continued as a research fellow in 1985. Since then, in her own words, you can take the girl out of CERN, but you can’t take CERN out of the girl. An advocate for diversity in the workplace, especially in the boardroom, Anne has reached the highest of levels in the corporate world. However, her values brought her home to CERN again when the opportunity for expanding the reach of STEM for all emerged in the form of CERN & Society Foundation. Through this avenue, she has enabled thousands of future researchers to pursue their passion for science and technology development.

Peter Jenni, one of the founders of the ATLAS experiment and its long-time spokesperson, is an eminent physicist. He has contributed to science with more than 1100 publications in scientific journals, of which the majority of the experiments were carried out at CERN. A laureate of the Fundamental Physics Special Breakthrough Prize, he donated all the prize money for educational and humanitarian purposes and co-created the ATLAS PhD Grant for sponsoring PhD students in physics from around the globe.

Anne and Peter have set the bar high, and we are glad to welcome new members to the Foundation Board who will help the CERN & Society Foundation build on their legacy to reach even further.

Michel Spiro
Michel Spiro (Image:CERN)

Michel Spiro, President of IUPAP (International Union of Pure and Applied Physics), who joined the Board in January 2020 will succeed Anne as Chair of the Foundation Board. A professor of physics, Michel served as President of the CERN Council from 2010 to 2012. He was awarded the French Legion of Honor in 2004 and the French National Order of Merit in 2008. As a renowned physicist, he also received the Juliot-Curie Prize, the Felix Robin Prize and the Prix Lagarrigue.

Taking the role of Board Member designated by CERN is Fido Dittus. A physicist, Fido has served in some of the premier institutes of the world, including ETH Zurich, the Swiss Institute for Nuclear Research, Fermilab, and Caltech. Over the past 25 years, Fido has been working at CERN in various capacities. Previously extensively involved in the management of the ATLAS experiment, he is now retired from CERN while continuing part-time activities as a Visiting Scientist.

Earlier this year, Daphne de Laleu also joined as Member of the CERN & Society Foundation Board. With a background in International Law and Development, Daphne has over 20 years of experience in international project management in both corporate foundations and international organisations, including Save the Children Switzerland, UNICEF, and the L’Oréal Corporate Foundation. Her experience in fundraising and project management is a huge asset to the CERN & Society Foundation.

We are sad to see Anne and Peter conclude their work on the Foundation Board, but we are excited about the onboarding of the new members and look forward to working with them. Keep watching this space to explore more of our work and initiatives as we keep spreading the CERN spirit of scientific curiosity, for the inspiration and benefit of society.