Governance beta

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

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

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.


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.

Director International Relations

Assists and advises the Director General in all matters linked to international relations and is responsible for shaping and implementing the external relations strategy for the organisation.