Director's Office

Chi-Chang Kao

Laboratory Director

portrait: Chi-­Chang Kao

SLAC Director Chi-­Chang Kao, a noted X-ray scientist, came to SLAC in 2010 to serve as associate laboratory director for the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource. He became SLAC’s fifth director in November 2012.

Previously, Kao served for five years as chairperson of the National Synchrotron Light Source at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York. He undertook major upgrades to the light source's scientific programs and experimental facilities while developing potential science programs for NSLS-­II, one of the newest and most advanced synchrotron facilities in the world. His research focuses on X-­ray physics, superconductivity, magnetic materials and the properties of materials under high pressure.

Kao earned a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering in 1980 from National Taiwan University and a doctorate in chemical engineering from Cornell University in 1988. He joined Brookhaven shortly afterward, working his way from NSLS postdoctoral research assistant to chair. Kao also served as an adjunct professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Stony Brook University.

He was elected a fellow of the American Physical Society in 2006 and was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2010 for his many contributions to resonant elastic and inelastic X-­ray scattering techniques and their application to materials physics, as well as for his leadership at the NSLS.

Norbert Holtkamp

Deputy Director

portrait: Norbert Holtkamp

Norbert Holtkamp is deputy director of SLAC and a SLAC professor of photon science and of particle physics and astrophysics. He works on strategic initiatives and manages the laboratory’s risk portfolio and construction projects underway on the SLAC site. From 2010 to 2014 he served as associate laboratory director for the SLAC Accelerator Directorate.

Holtkamp has served on Department of Energy, National Science Foundation and National Academy of Sciences review committees involving technical and planning issues for high-energy physics,  linear colliders, neutrino factories and neutrino beams, synchrotron light sources, X-ray free-electron lasers and high-energy colliders.  

Before coming to SLAC, he was principal deputy director of the ITER organization, a partnership between the European Union, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Russia and the United States. He was responsible for the technical management of one of the largest science projects in the world – construction of an experimental tokamak fusion reactor – which is still underway in the south of France.

Prior to ITER, Holtkamp was director of the Accelerator Systems Division for the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he led the design and construction of the SNS accelerator by five participating DOE laboratories. He received the Gersh Budker prize of the European Physical Society for the success of this project.

He has been a senior staff member at DESY in Hamburg, Germany, responsible for operation of the injector linear accelerators and a R&D program that included construction of a 400 MeV electron test linac. And at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Holtkamp led a multi-laboratory study on the technical feasibility of an intense neutrino source based on a muon storage ring.

Holtkamp holds the equivalent of a master’s degree in physics from the University of Berlin and a PhD in physics from the Technical University in Darmstadt, Germany.


Brian Sherin

Deputy Director for Operations | Chief Operating Officer

Brian Sherin

Brian Sherin has 35 years of experience in leading and managing environmental safety and health, security, crisis response and sustainability in high-tech industry and research settings. As deputy director for operations at SLAC, he is responsible for ensuring the effective integration and performance of operations functions that support the lab’s growing scientific mission. As SLAC’s chief operating officer, he oversees the lab’s Business & Technology Services, Facilities & Operations, Human Resources, Communications and Environment, Safety & Health divisions.

Prior to joining SLAC in 2007, Sherin was co-founder and managing principal consultant of Environmental & Occupational Risk Management, a national environmental and safety consulting firm (now BSI EHS Services & Solutions). He was also founder and president of ESHconnect, a Web-based provider of ES&H knowledge services, as well as health and safety manager for Hewlett-Packard Company’s Components Group.

Sherin is also active in the local and broader community, volunteering to support emergency management in various capacities. For 17 years he served as a volunteer firefighter in Santa Cruz County, Calif., where he a member of the Santa Cruz County Emergency Management Council. He is also on the command staff of Disaster Medical Assistance Team CA-6, part of the Department of Health and Human Services national disaster medical system, with field response experience in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake and in Puerto Rico following Hurricanes Irma/Maria in 2017.

See SLAC's chief officers » See SLAC's past directors and deputy directors »