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Persis S. Drell - Former Director, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Persis S. Drell

Persis S. Drell is Professor of Physics at Stanford University and Professor and Director Emerita at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. She received her B.A. in mathematics and physics from Wellesley College in 1977. She received her Ph.D. in atomic physics from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1983. She then switched to high-energy experimental physics and worked as a postdoctoral scientist with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. She joined the faculty of the Physics Department at Cornell University in 1988. In 2000, she became head of the Cornell high-energy group; in 2001, she was named deputy director of Cornell's Laboratory of Nuclear Studies. In 2002, Dr. Drell accepted a position as Professor and Director of Research at SLAC. She was the Deputy Project Manager for the Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope 2004-2005. In 2007 she was named Director at SLAC. She stepped down from the SLAC Directorship in 2012. Her current research activities are in Particle Astrophysics and Free Electron Laser science.

Dr. Drell has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship; a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award; she is a fellow of the American Physical Society; a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. In 2012 she was the recipient of the 2012 Helmholtz International Fellow Award for outstanding scientific achievement.