The annual meeting of the American Meteorological Society, held in Seattle 11–15 January, gave two new leaders in high-profile roles a chance to meet with constituents.
David Johnson, a retired brigadier general from the U.S. Air Force, was sworn in as head of the National Weather Service on 9 January. Outgoing NWS director John “Jack” Kelly had also served as an Air Force brigadier general.
Johnson takes the NWS reins after a 30-year military career. Most recently he served as director of weather for the Air Force, where he oversaw deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan and led a restructuring of training, operations, and organization for the 4,000-person unit. He also served as a key adviser in the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS). Johnson holds a bachelor’s degree in geography from the University of Kansas and a master’s degree in human relations from Webster University. While at the AMS meeting, Johnson met with a variety of stakeholders, including a group of research leaders from academia and government labs who briefed him on issues of concern.
Michel Jarraud, the new WMO secretary-general. (Photo courtesy Bryan Yeaton/Mount Washington Observatory.)
French meteorologist Michel Jarraud became the fifth secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization on 1 January. His predecessor, Godwin O. P. Obasi, had held the post since 1984. Jarraud served 8 years as the WMO’s deputy secretary-general and 17 years at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts. He holds advanced degrees from France’s Ecole Polytechnique and Ecole de la Météorologie Nationale.
At the AMS meeting, Jarraud called for stronger multidisciplinary links to maximize the benefit of weather, climate, and water forecasts and warnings. He noted that the WMO is considering a role in coordinating seismology activities as part of its overall focus on the prevention and mitigation of natural disasters.