(Santa Barbara, Calif., July 31, 2012) - After an international search for a new director for the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (KITP) at UC Santa Barbara, the search committee found the best person for the position was already in Santa Barbara: Lars Bildsten, professor of physics and a KITP permanent member. The baton was passed on July 1 from Professor David Gross, a 2004 Nobel laureate, who will remain at KITP as a permanent member.
"I am honored to have been selected," said Bildsten, who joined KITP and UCSB in 1999. "It is also a deep responsibility to maintain the tradition of excellent leadership at the KITP. David Gross very successfully expanded our activities and funding, increased our international prominence, and placed us in a very strong position."
"Lars will be an excellent and dynamic leader of the Institute," said Gross, who served 15 years as director, almost half the life of KITP. "I trust and hope that the KITP will continue to serve the worldwide community of theoretical physicists by running excellent programs." Gross's decision to step down prompted the years-long search that culminated with Bildsten's selection.