Dr Johan Stander was born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. He studied meteorology, then obtained a PhD in oceanography. Dr Stander worked for the South African Weather Service before joining WMO. He often speaks about the great opportunities his country provided him first as a forecaster from 1989 then promoting him to positions of greater prominence that permitted him to gain extensive national and international experience. He brings experience in observations, data, research, services and stakeholder relations as well as 15 years of promoting collaboration at the international and national level to WMO.
Dr Stander first served WMO in 2005 when he was elected to the Executive Council Working Group for Antarctic Meteorology. In 2009, he was elected to serve on the Joint Tariff Agreement executive board and in 2010 elected as vice-chair to the Data Buoy Cooperation Panel. In 2012, he was elected as Co-President of the WMO-IOC/UNESCO Joint Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology (JCOMM), the only joint commission under the UN system, a position he held until 2019 when Congress approved the reform of the technical commission.
He adheres to the belief that we can achieve whatever we set our minds to as long as each one of us does what is required of us to the best of our abilities. He also firmly believes in cross-departmental teamwork with no duplication. When departments and institutions work together as a community, we achieve what is required and expected of us, without jeopardizing individual strengths and growth. Leadership is by example - hard dedicated work will ensure that we achieve what is required by our Members, especially the most vulnerable, in an ever-changing world.
Dr Stander is fully committed to working with all Members, stakeholders and partners to identify the talents needed to achieve WMO's long-term goals and to fully develop the capacity of Members in all aspects of our work. Together we can make a difference for humankind.