Internationally renowned physicist and scientific leader Lia Merminga has been appointed to lead Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, effective April 18.

Merminga will be the seventh director of Fermilab, a 6,800-acre facility headquartered in Batavia, Ill., which is the United States’ premier particle physics and accelerator laboratory. Fermilab’s mission is to shed new light on our understanding of the universe, from the smallest building blocks of matter to the deepest secrets of dark matter and dark energy.

University of Chicago President Paul Alivisatos made the announcement April 5 in his capacity as chair of the board of directors of Fermi Research Alliance, LLC, which operates the laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy.
Merminga will succeed Nigel Lockyer, who announced in September that he would step down as lab director after an eight-year tenure. She is the first woman to serve as director of Fermilab.

“Lia brings to this critical role an exceptional track record of success, passion for science, proven ability to execute major projects, focus on the talent and diversity of the Fermilab community, and strong commitment to the national and global high-energy physics communities,” Alivisatos said. “We are grateful to Nigel for his leadership of Fermilab and long legacy of building and strengthening international collaboration essential for advancing scientific discovery at a global scale. I look forward to working with Lia as she leads America’s particle physics and accelerator laboratory into a new era of exploring fundamental questions of matter, energy, space and time for the benefit of all.”

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