Michael Witherell, vice chancellor for research at the University of California Santa Barbara, has been approved by the UC Board of Regents to serve as director of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Witherell will succeed the departing Paul Alivisatos as LBNL chief and will assume his new role on March 1, Berkeley Lab said Thursday.
The university runs LBNL on behalf of the Energy Department to perform research on sustainable energy, human health and other science-related topics.
“We look forward to seeing the important innovations LBNL will produce under Mike’s leadership to help realize America’s low-carbon economy and advance scientific frontiers,” Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in a statement Thursday.
Witherell is a physicist who currently serves as presidential chair in physics at UC Santa Barbara.
He previously served as director of DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.