EMBL is an inter-governmental organisation with 27 member states, one associate member and two prospect members that is led by the Director General, Prof. Edith Heard, appointed by the EMBL Council.

The EMBL Council is composed of all member states of the Laboratory. Each member state is represented by up to two delegates, who may be accompanied by advisers. Council ensures that the financial requirements of the agreement establishing EMBL and of the agreements with host member states are complied with.

The Finance Committee assists the Council in the financial management and control of EMBL.

Council establishes a Scientific Advisory Committee that gives advice to Council, in particular with regard to proposals from the Director General on the realisation of the programme of the Laboratory. The Scientific Advisory Committee is composed of distinguished scientists appointed in their own right, not as representatives of member states.

people in a conference room
There are two Council meetings per year – one in summer, one in winter


Director General

Chief executive officer and legal representative of EMBL, responsible for overall leadership, strategic direction and management of the organisation.

Deputy Director General

Assists the Director General in relation to engagement with EMBL Member States and external representation.

Chief Operating Officer

Responsible for providing administrative services to all members of personnel of the organisation at all six EMBL sites.

Heads of Units

Provide leadership and guidance to their units, and assist the Director General and Deputy DG in representing EMBL to external stakeholders.

Senior Scientists

Assist the Heads of Units and the Director General in the organisation of activities in the Unit and EMBL.