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New Leadership for ICTP

Particle physicist from Cambridge to become next ICTP director

New Leadership for ICTP

Fernando Quevedo

Dr. Fernando Quevedo of Cambridge University, UK, a Guatemalan national, has been appointed as the new director of the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP). He will succeed Dr. Katepalli Sreenivasan, who has led the institute since 2003. Dr. Sreenivasan will be returning to the US to pursue his interests in research and teaching.

Dr. Quevedo is a well-known theoretical particle physicist with wide-ranging research interests in string theory, phenomenology and cosmology. He was awarded the 1998 ICTP Prize in recognition of his important contributions to superstring theory.

He was born in 1956 in Costa Rica and obtained early education in Guatemala. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in 1986 under the supervision of Nobel Laureate Steven Weinberg. Following a string of research appointments at CERN, Switzerland, McGill University in Canada, Institut de Physique in Neuchatel, Switzerland, and the Los Alamos National Laboratory, USA, as well as a brief term as professor of physics at the UNAM (Mexican National Autonomous University), Mexico, Dr. Quevedo joined the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge, UK, in 1998, where he is currently Professor of Theoretical Physics and Fellow of Gonville and Caius College.

Asked about the importance of the appointment, Dr. Quevedo declared, "I am deeply honoured to have been selected for this highly prestigious position at an institution that is very close to my heart. The founder of ICTP, Professor Abdus Salam, has always been a role model for me since, more than any other scientist, he dedicated his life to scientific research of the highest quality while at the same time helping to improve the level of science in the developing world."

He added, "As a scientist from a developing country, I look forward to following Professor Salam and my predecessors’ footsteps; to lead and further advance ICTP through these exciting times in which science is of greatest importance for the world’s culture, development and survival."

Dr. Sreenivasan added that the choice of Quevedo as the next director is in keeping with the spirit of ICTP, which is to do first-rate research while acting as the anchor for scientific capacity building in developing countries.

In addition to receiving the ICTP Prize, Dr. Quevedo has received various honours including Doctorates Honoris Causa from the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala and the Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala, the Royal Society Wolfson Merit Award and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. He is the founder and coordinator of the International Network of Guatemalan Scientists.


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