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SLAC Names New Chief Operating Officer

(Photo - Sandy Merola)Alexander "Sandy" Merola has been named SLAC's Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Associate Laboratory Director (ALD) for Operations, effective June 4. He will replace Stan Cohelan, who has served as Acting COO since last September.

"I am delighted to have Sandy joining the senior management at the lab," said Persis Drell. "He brings great breadth of experience in management and leadership roles. I am looking forward to working with him."

After serving in the United States Air Force as a member of a Functional Check Flight Crew for Airborne Computers, Merola began his national laboratory career in 1973 as a technician providing computer and networking support for physicists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). In this capacity, he helped design simulation and control systems using some of the first production integrated circuits.

Over the course of more than three decades at LBNL, Merola moved on to serve as IT Division Director and the Chief Information Officer helping to create an IT and Cyber Security environment much valued by LBNL scientists. In 2006, he became the laboratory's Deputy COO and served a key role in positioning LBNL for major funding from the Office of Science for infrastructure improvements.

"I am excited and honored to be joining the SLAC team," said Merola. "I want SLAC to be the most scientifically competitive laboratory in the system, and I look forward to helping make that ground-breaking science possible through safe and efficient operations."

As COO and ALD for Operations, Merola will serve both as a member of the executive management of the laboratory, and he will provide leadership and management of the Operations Directorate, which includes Environment, Safety and Health (ES&H), Business Services, Human Resources, Information Technologies, and Scientific Computing and Computing Services (SCCS).

"In welcoming Sandy, I would like to say how deeply grateful I am to Stan Cohelan for serving as acting COO for the past 9 months in addition to running Business Services Division," said Drell. "As Stan now focuses on the job of heading Business Services, I want to acknowledge that he has led the Operations Directorate at one of the most challenging times in the lab's history and we all owe him thanks."

Kelen Tuttle, SLAC Today, May 27, 2008

Above image: Sandy Merola.