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A Message from Jonathan

Consistent with my March 2007 announcement, I am ending today my eight-year tenure as SLAC Director. President Hennessy has asked me to serve as his assistant with a focus on the relationship between Stanford and SLAC and I have enthusiastically accepted. In that role, there are several critical tasks which require immediate attention including the renewal of the lease of the SLAC site to the Department of Energy and Stanford's contract to continue overseeing SLAC on behalf of the DOE.

As outlined in the accompanying announcement from President Hennessy, Persis Drell will serve as acting director until my permanent replacement is hired. I am extraordinarily grateful to Persis for stepping in to lead the laboratory at this challenging time and I ask you to give her your full and enthusiastic support.

It has been an enormous privilege and a high honor to lead SLAC and I am extremely proud of what we have collectively accomplished these past eight years. In addition, we have crafted an exciting, discovery-filled future for the laboratory. I cannot express strongly enough the gratitude that I feel for the extraordinary support and kind friendship that each of you has given to me as Director. It hasn't always been an easy path, but your devotion, professionalism and unflagging spirit of optimism is why SLAC flourishes. You are what made coming to work each day as Director such a pleasure.

My goal of an enhanced relationship between the main campus and SLAC has been realized through the establishment of the Kavli institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC), the Photon Ultrafast Laser Science and Engineering Center (PULSE), the X-ray Laboratory for Advanced Materials (XLAM), the guest house and the recruitment of world-class faculty and staff. My new role enables me to continue such efforts in the near-term.

A key element of DOE's ongoing relationship with Stanford and Stanford's management of the laboratory will be our 10-year vision for the laboratory. Developing and articulating that vision requires that we take maximum advantage of how the University, through its largest research enterprise, namely SLAC, can most effectively serve the DOE Office of Science's mission. The vision must be accompanied by a detailed and highly credible implementation plan. Our goal is not merely to maintain the contract for Stanford, but to gain the federal government's enthusiastic and full support for yet another round of scientific and technical breakthroughs. This effort is now underway and I will strongly support it as part of my ongoing role to enhance and cement, yet further, the deep connections between the laboratory and the main campus.

I would be honored if you all came to an event at 1:30 pm on Wednesday, September 12th on the green to mark this transition.

Jonathan Dorfan, SLAC Today, September 10, 2007