Lia Merminga has been appointed to lead Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory as the new Laboratory Director, effective April 18, 2022. Earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Athens, in Greece, and master’s degrees in physics and mathematics and a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor. She is a Fermilab Distinguished Scientist, a fellow of the American Physical Society, and a graduate of the first cohort of the Department of Energy’s Oppenheimer Energy Science Leadership Program. She has served on numerous international scientific committees.
Lia Merminga, an internationally renowned physicist and scientific leader, is well positioned to lead the laboratory. To this critical role, she brings 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. She currently serves as director for the Proton Improvement Plan II (PIP-II) at Fermilab, a billion-dollar project that she has led with great accomplishment, earning accolades from the national and international high-energy physics communities. As Fermilab’s leading accelerator project, PIP-II will provide unprecedented, high power, high-intensity proton beams for future experiments, including the flagship Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility and the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment. PIP-II is the first particle accelerator to be built in the United States with significant contributions from international partners. Lia has also led a series of other major international projects, most recently at Fermilab and previously at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in California; TRIUMF in Vancouver, Canada; and the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Virginia. She brings significant experience working with the U.S. Department of Energy.
As a Fermilab scientist, Lia has deep knowledge of the groundbreaking projects underway at the lab, the dynamic Fermilab community, and the broad range of critical stakeholders who partner with Fermilab, enabling her to lead the lab during a period when it is undertaking the largest-scale projects in decades. She is committed to a strong regional and national scientific ecosystem through outreach and deeper collaboration with leading research universities, community colleges, and K-12 educational institutions, as well as with leading industrial partners. The first woman to lead Fermilab, she has garnered recognition for her strong focus on talent development, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Lia Merminga will succeed Nigel Lockyer, who announced in September that he would step down as Laboratory Director after an eight-year tenure. We are grateful for Nigel’s dedicated leadership of the Fermilab community.
Lia Merminga’s appointment follows a search led by a committee of international scientific leaders. She emerged as the leading candidate after a global search process that included extensive consultation with stakeholders from Fermilab, the national and international HEP communities, and the DOE National Laboratory complex. The committee’s unanimous recommendation to appoint Lia has been supported by the U.S. Department of Energy and approved by the board of Fermi Research Alliance (FRA). FRA, a partnership of the University of Chicago and the Universities Research Association, manages Fermilab on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science and will work closely with Lia in her new capacity as Laboratory Director.