Persis S. Drell

Board member since 2017. Menlo Park, Calif.

Persis S. Drell is the James and Anna Marie Spilker professor in the School of Engineering, a professor of materials science and engineering, and a professor of physics. From Feb. 1, 2017, to Sept. 30, 2023, she was the provost of Stanford University. Prior to assuming the post of provost, Persis was the dean of the Stanford School of Engineering and director of the U.S. Department of Energy SLAC National Acceleratory Laboratory.

Persis received her B.A. in mathematics and physics from Wellesley College and her Ph.D. in atomic physics from the University of California, Berkeley. She was a member of the faculty of the physics department at Cornell University for 14 years before accepting a position as professor and associate director at SLAC in 2002.

Persis is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a fellow of the American Physical Society.  She has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award. Her research has spanned atomic physics, high energy physics, particle astrophysics, and technology development for free electron lasers.

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