Director General

The Director General is the chief executive officer and legal representative of EMBL, and is responsible for overall leadership, strategic direction and management of the organisation.

The Director General is supported by the Directorate, comprising the Leadership team, Directors, Associate Directors of EMBL-EBI and heads of research, service and functional units.

Reporting to EMBL Council, the Director General is responsible for the development of the overall policy and strategy, and for establishing consensus around EMBL’s five-year programme.

The Director General guides the evolution of EMBL’s role, missions and programmes to best serve the needs of the scientific community and of broader European society, and thus achieve EMBL’s full potential to support the life sciences in Europe for the benefit of all stakeholders.

The Director General provides intellectual leadership for the multidisciplinary and international community of EMBL staff and fellows, and has overall responsibility for EMBL’s day-to-day operations and the performance of all parts of the organization, with the assistance of the senior management team.

The Director General is the spokesperson for EMBL and serves as an advocate and communicator with all stakeholders and interested parties including the scientific community, policy makers, industry groups, funding organizations, the media and the general public.

Director General's Office



EMBL is an inter-governmental organisation with 28 member states, one associate member and two prospect members that is led by the Director General, Prof. Edith Heard, appointed by the EMBL Council.