Inauguration de l'esplanade des particules, le 28 septembre 2018
Cérémonie d'inauguration de l'esplanade des particules (Image: CERN)

The CERN Council is the highest authority of the Organization and has responsibility for all-important decisions. It controls CERN’s activities in scientific, technical and administrative matters. It approves programmes of activity, adopts the budgets and reviews expenditure. The Council is assisted by the Scientific Policy Committee and the Finance Committee. The Director-General, appointed by the Council, manages the CERN Laboratory. The Director-General is assisted by a directorate and runs the Laboratory through a structure of departments.



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Council meeting in June 2018 (Image: CERN)

CERN is run by 23 Member States, each of which has two official delegates to the CERN Council. One represents his or her government’s administration; the other represents national scientific interests. Each Member State has a single vote and most decisions require a simple majority, although in practice the Council aims for a consensus as close as possible to unanimity.


Scientific Policy Committee

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Scientific Policy Committee in February 2018 (Image: CERN)

The Scientific Policy Committee evaluates the scientific merit of activities proposed by physicists and makes recommendations on CERN’s scientific programme. Its members are scientists elected by their colleagues on the committee and appointed by Council on the basis of scientific eminence without reference to nationality. Some members are also elected from Non-Member States.


Finance Committee

Personalities and History of CERN
Three-hundred-and-fifty-eighth meeting of the Finance Committee, in December 2016, chaired by Ms Charlotte Jamieson (Image: CERN)

The Finance Committee is composed of representatives from national administrations and deals with all issues relating to financial contributions by the Member States and to the Organization’s budget and expenditure.


Structure as of 2018



Appointed by Council, usually for five years, the Director-General manages CERN. A directorate assists the Director-General, who proposes its members to Council. The Director-General reports directly to the Council, and can also propose any adjustment deemed necessary to meet the evolving needs of the research programme.

Fabiola Gianotti

Director for Accelerators and Technology

Frédérick Bordry

Director for Research and Computing

Eckhard Elsen

Director for Finance and Human Resources

Martin Steinacher

Director for International Relations

Charlotte Warakaulle

The biographies are available on this page

Heads of departments


Paul Collier


Roberto Losito

Experimental Physics

Manfred Krammer

Finance and Administrative Processes

Florian Sonnemann

Human Resources

James Purvis

Industry, Procurement and Knowledge Transfer

Thierry Lagrange

Information Technology

Frédéric Hemmer

Site Management and Buildings

Lluis Miralles


José Miguel Jiménez

Theoretical Physics

Gian Francesco Giudice