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05 March 2015

Bernard Bigot appointed as new ITER Director General

Prof Osamu Motojima hands over to Dr Bernard Bigot

At an Extraordinary Meeting held in Paris on 5 March 2015, the ITER Council appointed Dr Bernard Bigot as the next Director-General of the ITER Organization, succeeding Prof Osamu Motojima.
Dr Bigot, a distinguished scientist, was the Chairman and CEO of the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, CEA (Administrateur Général, Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives) and was also the High Commissioner for ITER in France before he joined the ITER Organization. Dr Bigot has had a long and distinguished career and a record of close involvement with ITER. He is an experienced senior manager of large programs and projects, a leader capable of finding common ground among ITER Members, an excellent communicator, and he is highly respected by the fusion research community. He has taken up his duties as Director-General immediately.
In 2014, faced with slippage in the schedule, the ITER Council decided to establish a new baseline for the project (scope, schedule and cost). Development of the new schedule began under Director-General Motojima. Director-General Bigot is continuing this effort and plans to provide a new baseline at the ITER Council meeting in November 2015.
The transition of the project from its design completion phase to its full construction phase motivated the early handover from Prof Motojima to his successor Dr Bigot. Prof Motojima, appointed Emeritus Director-General of the ITER Organization by Dr Bigot, is leaving ITER with the gratitude of the ITER Council and after having made significant contributions to this critically important, and very complex, international endeavour.
Prof Motojima said: “I am pleased by the ITER Council decision to appoint Dr Bigot as the next Director-General and I would like to heartily express my congratulations to him. I appreciated the warm acknowledgement given to me today, and it is my great honour to have the title of Director-General Emeritus conferred on me.”
The ITER Council endorsed the Action Plan presented by Dr Bigot, which addresses and is in line with the recommendations of the most recent Management Assessment and stresses the importance of delivery of the revised project baseline.
Dr Bigot said: “The whole world needs innovative technologies to assure its long-term sustainable supply of energy. Magnetic confinement fusion is one of the most promising options. I am deeply honoured for the possibility of contributing to the large, international and ambitious research program that is ITER, which has innovation as its aim. Be assured that I will do my best to meet the expectations of the ITER Members.”

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