Director-General of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)
Fabiola Gianotti obtained a Ph.D. in experimental sub-nuclear physics from the University of Milano, Italy, and is now holding a permanent position as research physicist at CERN. She is also Honorary Professor at the University of Edinburgh and was awarded honorary doctoral degrees by the Uppsala University (Sweden) and the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL).
She is a member of the Italian Academy of Sciences (Accademia dei Lincei). From March 2009 to February 2013 she has been holding the elected position of Coordinator (“Spokesperson”) of the ATLAS experiment at the CERN Large Hadron Collider (the ATLAS Collaboration consists of about 3,000 physicists from 38 countries).
On 4 July 2012, in a seminar at CERN, she announced, together with the Spokesperson of the CMS experiment, the discovery of a new particle, the long-sought Higgs boson. She has been or is a member of several international committees such as the Scientific Council of the French CNRS, the Fermilab Physics Advisory Committee in the US, the Council of the European Physical Society, and the Scientifc Council of the DESY Laboratory (Hamburg, Germany). She has been awarded the honour of “Grande Ufficiale dell'ordine al merito della Repubblica” by the Italian President Giorgio Napolitano. She has received the Fundamental Physics Prize of the Milner Foundation, the Enrico Fermi Prize of the Italian Physical Society and the Medal of Honour of the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen. She was also a finalist for the Time's Person of the Year for 2012.