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Professor Sijbrand de Jong elected President of CERN Council

Council today announced his election as its 22nd President for a period of one year renewable twice, with a mandate starting on 1 January 2016

CERN Council today announced the election of Professor Sijbrand de Jong as its 22nd President for a period of one year renewable twice, with a mandate starting on 1 January 2016. He will take over from Professor Agnieszka Zalewska who concludes her three-year term at the end of December.

Professor Sijbrand de Jong (Image: Maximilien Brice/CERN)

“Sijbrand de Jong has served the CERN Council with diligence, pragmatism and wisdom throughout my mandate as President to date,” said the current President of Council Professor Agnieszka Zalewska. “When the time comes to pass the baton, I will be handing it on to a sure pair of hands.”

De Jong received his doctorate in 1990 from the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands for his contribution to the design of a novel multiprocessor system for the ZEUS calorimeter trigger at Germany’s DESY laboratory. The trigger has the role of making extremely rapid decisions on which data to record and which to discard. Following his doctorate, he became a Fellow at CERN, where he worked on the OPAL detector at the Laboratory’s LEP accelerator until the late 1990s. He then moved to Fermilab in the US where he was deeply involved in the hunt for the Higgs boson at the Tevatron. De Jong is currently active in astroparticle physics, participating in cosmic ray research at the Pierre Auger Observatory. From 2004 to 2008 he was a member of the Large Hadron Collider Committee at CERN, and since 2010 he has been a delegate to the CERN Council. Furthermore, he was the Dutch representative of the CERN Council Strategy Groups in 2006 and 2013. Since 1998, De Jong has been a staff Member at Nikhef and has taught introductory and advanced high-energy physics courses at Radboud University Nijmegen. He is Knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion.

“I owe a lot to CERN, which I first joined in 1984 as a summer student,” said de Jong. “CERN is full of ambition, and in an excellent position to move particle physics forward with the LHC in full swing. There is also no shortage of ideas for new opportunities and I am fully committed to facilitating the decisions that will optimise CERN’s future. I am honoured and thankful to CERN Council for choosing me as its next President.”