Former Secretaries-General of WMO

Former Secretaries-General of WMO

The World Meteorological Organization has had five Secretaries-General since 1952 - Michel Jarraud (1 January 2004 to 31 December 2015), Godwin Olu Patrick Obasi (1 January 1984 to 31 December 2003), Aksel C. Wiin-Nielsen (1 January 1980 to 31 December 1983),  David Arthur Davies (1 January 1956 to 31 December 1979), Gustav Swoboda (1 January 1952 to 31 December 1955).

Michel Jarraud, France

Mr Jarraud also served as Chair of UN Water from 2012 to 2016. Before joining the WMO Secretariat as Deputy Secretary-General in January 1995, Mr Jarraud devoted part of his career to the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF): From 1978 to 1985, he was a researcher in numerical weather, then Director of the Operational Department in 1990, before being nominated Deputy Director of the Centre in 1991.

Godwin Olu Patrick Obasi (1933-2007), Nigeria

Professor G.O.P. Obasi was the first member of the Secretariat to be so appointed as Secretary-General and the first African to be appointed head of a UN body.

Aksel C. Wiin-Nielsen (1924–2010), Denmark

A. C. Wiin-Nielsen was a professor of meteorology at the University of Copenhagen, the University of Michigan and Director of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) before he became Secretary-General of WMO.

David Arthur Davies (1913-1990), United Kingdom

D.A. Davies obtained first-class Honours degrees in both Mathematics and Physics from the University of Wales in 1934/35, then joined the Meteorological Office. He served with the Royal Air Force during the war, then rejoined the Meteorological Office as head of the branch responsible for overseas aviation.

Gustav Swoboda, Switzerland

The World Meteorological Convention was signed on 11 October 1947 and came into force on 23 March 1950. In the interim, the work of the International Meteorological Organization – its predecessor, founded in 1879 – continued. The last meeting of the IMO Conference of Directors was held in Paris in March 1951 and IMO formally became the World Meteorological Organization, a specialized agency of the United Nations system, on the 17 March 1951. Dr Gustav Swoboda became the first Secretary-General.