Not yet official, but safe enough to be announced here: prof. Fernando Ferroni is the new INFN president. The charge will need to be confirmed by the Minister of Instruction and Research, Mariastella Gelmini (yes, the lady who said neutrinos travel in a 732 km long tunnel underground from CERN to Gran Sasso), but this is just a formal step.
Nando Ferroni is full professor at the University "La Sapienza" of Roma. He is an experimental particle physicist with a background in neutrino experiments (at CERN in the eighties) and collider physics (with the L3 experiment at LEP, and then with Babar at PEP2).
I had the pleasure to meet Ferroni in several instances in the past. Among other things, he was a member of the committee which sorted out 16 new researchers among 200 candidates in a INFN selection in Rome, back in 2005. I got the first place in the final list, so I might be biased in having a good opinion of him... But the many times I heard him argue about physics or funding matters I received the impression that, although invariably strongly opinionated, he is usually right. The fact that he adds a good dose of irony to everything he says is a plus to me: I never liked bureaucrats who take themselves and what they do so seriously that they are unable to use a bit of humor. On the negative side, he has a rather "professoral" attitude when he argues. But that is a good character trait to have for a president.
I believe he will be an excellent president of INFN, and I wish him good luck with the many difficult choices and decisions awaiting him. I hope he will keep the balance in particular concerning the SuperB machine...
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