Born in 1947 in South Africa, Dr. Jonathan Dorfan received his Bachelor’s degree in Science from the University of Cape Town in South Africa in 1969 and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Irvine, in 1976. Thereafter, he worked at Stanford University for over three decades on various projects and served as the director of SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory from 1999 to 2007. His long list of accomplishments includes leading the transformation of SLAC from being a single-purpose particle physics research center to a multi-program laboratory known for its excellence in particle physics, photon science and particle astrophysics. He also has for many years served on numerous advisory boards, including the High Energy Physics Advisory Panel of the U.S. Department of Energy, the Scientific Advisory Board of the Max Planck Institute for Physics and the Accelerator Advisory Panel of the International Linear Collider Global Design Effort.
Joining OIST as its first President in 2011, Dr. Dorfan brought with him years of experience as the director and administrator of a world-class research center and a leader of many international collaborative initiatives. The vision put forward by former president of OIST Promotion Corporation Dr. Sydney Brenner was translated into reality by Dr. Dorfan’s establishment of the interdisciplinary research and education system, world-competitive faculty and students, and state-of-the-art research infrastructure that we see at OIST today. Dr. Dorfan retired from OIST in December 2016 and was succeeded by Dr. Peter Gruss, former President of the Max Planck Society.At present, Dr. Dorfan serves as an advisor and a board member at many highly regarded institutions around the world, including the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, the University of Oxford and Royal Holloway University of London in U.K., and the Max Planck Institute in Germany. In 2016, he was awarded the W.K.H. Panofsky Prize in Experimental Particle Physics along with Drs. David Hitlin, Stephen Olsen and Fumihiko Takasaki. He was also honored by the Emperor of Japan in 2017 with the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star, one of Japan's most distinguished national decorations. Dr. Dorfan remains associated with OIST as its President Emeritus.