American Meteorological Society Executive Director Search

The role and responsibilities of the Executive Director can be found in Article VI of the AMS Bylaws. This section is provided below for convenience.

ARTICLE VI. Executive Director

  1. The Executive Director shall serve as Chief Executive Officer and be responsible for the administration of the Society’s headquarters and all activities in accordance with the Constitution and Bylaws.
  2. The Executive Director shall be responsible to the Executive Committee for the continuing management of the Society in all respects, except as specifically reserved by the Executive Committee or Council.
  3. The Executive Director is appointed by the majority vote of the members of the Council who are eligible to vote, holds office at the pleasure of the Council, and can be removed by a vote of at least two-thirds of the membership of the Council who are eligible to vote.
  4. The duties and responsibilities of the Executive Director shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

    A. maintain and direct an adequate staff at the Society’s headquarters to do the work of the Society within the limits imposed by the budget;
    B. carry out approved programs and conduct such business and correspondence as may be directed by the Council;
    C. within the policy established by the Council and the Executive Committee, initiate liaison and collaboration with others for the furthering of the objectives of the Society;
    D. maintain the Society’s headquarters building and other tangible assets in a good state;
    E. recommend to the Executive Committee such expansion of the programs or redirection of emphasis or efforts as appears to him or her to be in the best interests of the Society and to implement these after approval;
    F. facilitate the work of the Council, the Executive Committee, and the constituent bodies of the Society;
    G. direct the editing and publishing of the official organ of the Society;
    H. assist in the editing and publishing of the other publications of the Society within the policy established by the Council or the Executive Committee;
    I. enter into scientific or related contractual obligations on behalf of the Society when approved by the Council or the Executive Committee;
    J. under suitable bond, disburse the funds of the Society in accordance with policies determined by the Council; and
    K. keep informed of the activities of the constituent bodies of the Society and serve as an ex officio non-voting member of all Commissions, Boards, and Committees established by the Council.


Name Title Sector
Burt, Melissa Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, Research Scientist, Colorado State University Academic

Cook, Kerry

Professor at The University of Texas at Austin Academic

Ebi, Kris

Professor of Global Health and Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences in the Department of Global Health, University of Washington Academic
Gail, Bill Chief Executive Officer at Global Weather Corporation Private
Hooke, Bill Associate Executive Director and Senior Policy Fellow at American Meteorological Society Nonprofit
McCann, Maureen Broadcast Meteorologist, News 13 Orlando Private
Murillo, Shirley Research Meteorologist at NOAA Government
Pandya, Rajul Director, Thriving Earth Exchange at American Geophysical Union Nonprofit
Petty, Kevin (Chair) Director, Science and Forecast Operations and Public–Private Partnerships, The Weather Company, an IBM Business Private

Nominations are now closed.

High-Level AMS Executive Director Search Timeline (2021)

(subject to change)

January Executive search firm selection
March–April Online engagement sessions with select stakeholders
March Online survey available  
April Finalize leadership profile and advertising strategy
May–June Recruitment period  
July Review process begins  
July Semifinalist selection for interviews  
July–August Semifinalist interviews  
August Finalist confirmed (3–5 individuals) and communicated to AMS Executive Committee  
August Finalist Interviews—Executive Committee leads
September Next AMS Executive Director approved and announced

Yes, the Search Committee is working with WittKieffer. WittKieffer has a strong success record in identifying and recruiting qualified individuals for similar positions. More information about WittKieffer can be found on their website:

While it would likely be beneficial to have more members from the public sector,  the Search Committee does include several members who have worked in the federal government. Members of the federal government are also invited to participate in the stakeholder sessions and the survey. In addition, the Council and Executive Committee of the AMS, who make the final selection of the next ED, have several representatives from the federal government.

To gather stakeholder feedback, the AMS Search Committee will be conducting online engagement sessions for select subgroups of the AMS community, including AMS staff, Council, Commissioners, early career professionals, students, local chapters, and the Board on Representation, Accessibility, Inclusion, and Diversity. A listening session open to all AMS members will also be scheduled. The Search Committee will also be collecting input from the broader community through an online survey. All AMS members are encouraged to complete this survey, as it provides an opportunity to convey key perspectives on the future needs of the Society, along with the ideal qualifications of the new ED.

Input obtained from engagement sessions and the online survey will be used to identify and extract salient themes. The salient themes will be articulated in the leadership profile, which will be available on the website once complete. Moreover,  the input will be leveraged to help support the search process by enabling further refinement of the job announcement, as well as helping WittKieffer (the executive search firm supporting the process) and the Search Committee more effectively find and assess potential candidates.

The Search Committee will recommend to the AMS Executive Committee a list of the top 3–5 candidates. At that point, the formal duties of the Search Committee will be completed. The shortlist of candidates will be interviewed by the Executive Committee, select staff, and Council members. The final approval of the next ED will be made by Council.