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Persis Drell selected as new dean for the School of Engineering, will be School’s first female dean

On June 3, President John Hennessy and Provost John Etchemendy Ph.D. ’82 announced Persis Drell as the new dean of the School of Engineering. Drell is the first woman to serve in this role and will replace the outgoing dean, Jim Plummer M.S. ’67 Ph.D. ’71, effective Sept. 1, 2014.

Drell is a professor of physics, particle physics and astrophysics and served as director of the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory from 2007 to 2012. Hennessy cited Drell’s distinguished research career and broad vision for the future of engineering as reasons for her appointment as dean.

“She really epitomizes what we’re looking for as a great scholar on her own right, somebody who had a great deal of experience running and encouraging interdisciplinary activities and a large group of faculty, and somebody who really had a vision of where engineering is going,” Hennessy said. “[She’s] somebody who has demonstrated the ability to shape a vision for the school.”

Drell grew up on campus, and her father, Sidney Drell, served as a professor and deputy director emeritus at SLAC and as a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. Drell selected the three books for the Class of 2018’s summer reading.

Kylie Jue contributed to this report.

About Victor Xu

Victor Xu '17 is a graphical designer and deputy desk editor. A prospective economics major, he hails from Carmel, IN and enjoys reading, running, strategy games, and Kanye West. He hopes to utilize his education in tackling issues like climate change and income inequality. To contact Victor, email him at vxu ‘at’ stanford.edu.