Letter From Ray L. Orbach, DOE Under Secretary for Science
Dr. Robin Staffin has asked to be reassigned to a position in Forrestal as a senior science advisor to the Director. I have agreed to this and look forward to working with him in this new role. I am detailing Dr. Dennis Kovar to serve as the acting director of the Office of High Energy Physics.
Dr. Jehanne Simon-Gillo will be detailed to the position of acting director of the Office of Nuclear Physics while Dr. Kovar carries out the responsibilities of his new position. In these positions, Drs. Kovar and Simon-Gillo will be responsible for budgets, personnel in the respective offices, and for planning, both short and long term. Both appointments are effective today.
I wish to extend my thanks and appreciation to Robin for his leadership and contributions to the U.S. particle physics program as associate director of the Office of High Energy Physics. Over the past four and a half years, under Robin’s leadership, the Fermilab Tevatron has broken luminosity records, the NuMI-MINOS beamline and detector were completed, the B Factory at SLAC will successfully complete its historic run this year, and particle astrophysics has been established as a major new dimension of exploration.
Internationally, next generation accelerator R&D that will explore the Terascale has been a major area of research and international collaboration, and expanded US presence and support is helping to make the Large Hadron Collider at CERN one of the most exciting, anticipated physics experiments for this decade and beyond.
Today, particle physics boasts an unprecedented number of fundamental questions and opportunities for transformative discoveries. The sense that the answers to these questions are within our grasp provides a new vibrancy and excitement to this field. The particle physics community has a vision and ambitious goals, which require the development of a path forward that is adaptable and robust.
Dennis Kovar will have my full support to help the field identify this path forward.
Dr. Kovar has expertise and experience, both as a practicing scientist in his field and as a federal manager in the Office of Science. He worked in the field as an experimental nuclear physicist for 20 years doing accelerator based experiments prior to coming to DOE, and at DOE he has spent almost as long involved in both program and project management, with experience in user facilities, accelerator operations, and major projects. I believe that he brings the skills and experience needed to guide OHEP in the challenging times ahead, and I will give him my full support in this endeavor.
Dr. Simon-Gillo is an experienced administrator and scientist, with a clear vision for the future of nuclear physics. The community is fortunate to have someone of her ability and experience to guide the nuclear physics program in Dr. Kovar's absence.
I ask you to join me in thanking Robin Staffin for his contribution to the Office of High Energy Physics and in giving Dennis Kovar and Jehanne Simon-Gillo your full support as they carry out the responsibilities in their respective offices.
Raymond L. Orbach Under Secretary for Science
Published in SLAC Today, October 16, 2007