ESS Begins Search for Next Director General

Building ESS.
The European Spallation Source Council is beginning the process of recruiting the next Director General. The recruitment follows the decision by current Director General, Jim Yeck, not to extend his contract for personal reasons.
ABOVE: ESS Director General James H. Yeck at the European Spallation Source ERIC Plate Ceremony on September 8, 2015. PHOTO: ESS
LUND—Recruitment is underway for the new Director General of the European Spallation Source ERIC (ESS). Jim Yeck, the current DG, asked the European Spallation Source ERIC Council to start the process of recruiting his successor with the understanding that this process would take most of a year. He will step down once his successor is in place and ready to lead the facility.
Yeck, an American, came to ESS as CEO and Director General of ESS AB at the beginning of 2013, and led the transition into construction, which officially started at the facility site in September 2014. He also managed the complex organisational transition into a European Research Infrastructure Consortium, or ERIC. After a request by the newly formed ERIC Council to consider a contract extension for the duration of the construction phase, Yeck informed the Council that he needed to make plans to return to the US and that, for continuity, a new DG should be identified as soon as practically possible.
Yeck will continue to lead ESS well into 2016. In an interview with Swedish newspaper Sydsvenskan last Friday, he made it clear that the decision to return is related to family ties in the US. Currently he has no plans to take a position elsewhere.
“For me it is simply a matter of balance between work and family,” said Yeck. “I enjoy the challenges of the DG role and I am confident that the facility is on a successful track. My family base is in the States and this geographic challenge cannot be solved by transatlantic flights alone.” Yeck says he has no current plans except to take some time off. “I have served in demanding leadership positions from quite an early age and it is time to focus exclusively on my family.”
The recruitment process is carried out with a search committee led by Council Chair Lars Börjesson. An announcement for the position is being published in leading journals, and can be viewed on the ESS website.