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 December 2019 (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 December 2017 (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
Finance Committee meeting in December 2019 (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 2021


CERN's main objectives for the period 2021–2025


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 Finance and Human Resources

Raphaël Bello

Director for Accelerators and Technology

Mike Lamont

Deputy: Malika Meddahi

Director for Research and Computing

Joachim Mnich

Deputy: Pippa Wells

Director for International Relations

Charlotte Warakaulle

Heads of departments

Site and Civil Engineering

Mar Capeans


Katy Foraz

Theoretical Physics

Gian Francesco Giudice

Accelerator Systems

Brennan Goddard

Information Technology

Enrica Porcari


José Miguel Jiménez


Rhodri Jones

Experimental Physics

Manfred Krammer

Industry, Procurement and Knowledge Transfer

Christopher Hartley

Human Resources

James Purvis

Finance and Administrative Processes

Florian Sonnemann