Fermi Research Alliance board restructured for new era

Fermi Research Alliance, LLC, the operator of Fermilab for the U.S. Department of Energy and a partnership between the University of Chicago and Universities Research Association (URA), is reorganizing its board of directors this fall to best support the Laboratory as it shapes its future as a world-leading scientific institution, working in close partnership with the scientific community to ensure a bright future for U.S. particle physics.

As Fermilab and the U.S. particle physics community enter a new era of research, the University of Chicago and URA—the FRA LLC Members—have been discussing how together they can best support the Laboratory. Their deliberations included significant input from a Board Advisory Group drawn from the existing board, and convened to examine options as to how the Board, which is appointed by the members, should evolve.

The FRA Members have determined that the board will be reconstituted as a 15-member body, with strong emphasis on providing support and advice in matters of project management, governance, industrial expertise, government relations and international collaboration.

New board members will include leaders from a variety of fields whose experience will help Fermilab build support in Illinois, in the United States and around the world. The board’s focus will be on the highest level of strategy for Fermilab and its capacity for implementing this strategy.

Within the guidance provided by the DOE, and informed by the deliberations of national advisory groups, the board will continue to assess Fermilab’s scientific strategy in close and regular consultation with a Physics Advisory Committee.

On Oct. 1, an interim, transitional board will be convened to oversee the transition. The interim board will include Robert J. Zimmer, chair of the board as president of the University of Chicago; Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon, vice-chair of the board; Marta Cehelsky, Executive Director of Universities Research Association; and Donald Levy, Vice President for Research and National Laboratories at the University of Chicago.

The full board reorganization will be completed in 2015.

Fermilab is America’s premier national laboratory for particle physics research. A U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science laboratory, Fermilab is operated under contract by the Fermi Research Alliance, LLC, composed of the University of Chicago and Universities Research Association, Inc., which is a consortium of 88 research universities.