Structure of the Secretariat

Structure of the Secretariat

The Secretariat is headed by the Secretary-General, who appoints all Secretariat staff, including the Deputy Secretary-General and the Assistant Secretary-General, in accordance with regulations established by Congress, and with the approval of the Executive Council.



The Secretariat is headed by the Secretary-General, who is appointed by the World Meteorological Congress for a four-year term with a maximum tenure of 8 years. The Secretary-General has the responsibility to appoint all Secretariat staff, including the Deputy Secretary-General and the Assistant Secretary-General, in accordance with regulations established by Congress, and with the approval of the Executive Council.

The WMO Secretariat (headquartered in Geneva) is currently in a period of transition to a new structure that reflects the Governance Reform and WMO Strategic Plan 2020-2023, both approved by the Eighteenth World Meteorological Congress in June 2019. During this period of transition, this page and many others in the website will be regularly updated to reflect adjustments to the Secretariat.

Executive Management

Secretary-General Petteri Taalas, Deputy Secretary-General Elena Manaenkova and Assistant Secretary-General Wenjian Zhang compose the WMO Executive Management.

Cabinet of the Secretary-General

The Cabinet Office of the Secretary-General, which includes the Offices of the Secretary-General, Deputy Secretary-General and Assistant Secretary General, supports Executive Management and the Secretariat to deliver on the goals and objectives of the Organization. Reporting Directly to the Cabinet Office:

The Head of the Secretariat of the Climate Risk Early Warning Systems (CREWS) initiative also reports to the Director of the Cabinet.

The following entities report directly the Secretary-General:

Governance Services

The Governance Services Department strives to provide optimal support to the Secretariat and Members in the following areas:

  • Conference management and multilingual translation and interpretation (in up to six languages) for WMO and the IPCC meetings organized in Geneva and abroad
  • Publishing technical and public outreach materials, website content and other documentation in the six official UN languages
  • Managing the WMO Conference Centre in Geneva and the WMO building facilities in an environment-sustainable manner
  • Human resources services for the 300+ staff of WMO
  • Legal advice and support to the Secretary-General, the Secretariat, and Member States and Territories
  • Financial advice and guidance to the Secretariat
  • Procurement and contract management services to achieve best value for money for the acquisition of goods and services in a manner that supports fairness, integrity and transparency

Find our more on the Conference CentreEmploymentProcurement

Public Private Engagement

The Public-Private Engagement department promotes greater cooperation between the public, private and academic sectors operating in the global weather enterprise.

Public-Private Engagement

Internal Oversight Office

The Internal Oversight Office (IOO) provides an independent, objective verification of financial, administrative and operational activities of WMO.

Planning Finance and Accountability

Ethics Office

The WMO Ethics Office confidentially investigates reports of fraud, corruption and abuse in the Organization. The WMO shares its Ethics Officer with ITU. 

Report fraud, corruption or abuse

The following entities report directly to the Deputy Secretary-General

The Deputy Secretary-General oversees the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC), established by the WMO and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)and endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly.

Science and Innovation

The Science and Innovation Department (SI) is responsible for effective and efficient promotion of advances in target areas of research. It provides leadership in research activities towards advancing scientific knowledge of the Earth System, enhancing the science-for-service value chain through improved predictive capabilities and in advancing policy-relevant science.

The Science and Innovation Department includes


Services Department

The Services Department (Director to be announced) includes the Climate Services, Disaster Risk Reduction and Public Services and the Sector Services Branch.

The Climate Services Branch includes four support units:

  • Climate data monitoring and associated products for country-level and policy applications (Climate Monitoring and Policy Services Division)
  • Operationalization of the climate services information system and climate prediction, sub regional scales in support of country level (Regional Climate Prediction Services Division)
  • Products and services to support climate-sensitive decisions in agriculture, energy, health and other climate sensitive sectors (Applied Climate Services Division)
  • Technical coordination of extra budgetary resources including in support of the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) (Project Technical Coordination and GFCS support unit).

The Disaster Risk Reduction and Public Services Branch coordinates and support activities aimed at strengthening:

  • National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) profiles in disaster risk reduction governance
  • NMHS capacities in service delivery, with a focus on impact based forecasting and multi-hazard early warnings (including tropical cyclones) and support to humanitarian activities
  • WMO partnerships and engagement in regional and global policy agendas.

The Sector Services Branch supports:

  • High-quality, timely and cost-effective meteorological and climatological information and decision-support services to international civil aviation users worldwide (Services for Aviation Division)
  • Members to provide authoritative and timely marine and coastal met-ocean products and decision support services to enhance the safety of life and property at sea while mitigating the damaging impact of hazardous weather events along the coasts (Marines Services Division)
  • Hydrological forecasting, outlooks and early warning for droughts and floods, including flash floods, water resources assessment and management for planning and operating purposes aimed at the national, regional, transboundary and global levels (Hydrology and Water Resources Division).

Across these areas, the department also supports the development and operationalization of common attributes for product and service delivery, quality management standards and competencies, emerging services and applications, and regional and global partnerships in support of all of the above areas.

Hydrology and Cryosphere Coordination

Water resource management is essential to sustainable development and climate change adaptation, and requires monitoring water, snow and ice and global, regional and national coordination of related activities. Hydrology and Cryosphere Coordination ensures that WMO can deliver against the targets set in the WMO Strategic Operating Plan and comply with the eight WMO water ambitions. Hydrology and Cryosphere Coordination is responsible for:

  • Supporting the WMO Hydrological Assembly and the Hydrological Coordination Panel
  • Coordinating WMO contributions to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Six (SDG6) on Water, including through the Coalition for SDG6 implementation
  • Coordination development of an action plan for the eight WMO water ambitions
  • Leading the development of the WMO Hydrological Status and Outlook System (HydroSOS) which aims to enable all WMO Members to support development of a global system that helps national, regional and global adaptation planning related to water
  • Coordinating activities related to the cryosphere, including the development of a key cryosphere indicator that supports regional and global adaptation planning.
  • Supporting WMO Regional Associations in integrating hydrology at regional and national levels.


The following entities report directly to the Assistant Secretary-General:


The Infrastructure Department has responsibility for supporting the global coordination, collection and distribution of meteorological, climate and hydrological data for the benefit of all WMO Members. Activities span measurement and metrology, observing networks, satellite systems, information technology, data standards and exchange, and earth system modelling and prediction. The Department provides Secretariat support to the Infrastructure Commission, which comprises the global expertise in these areas.

Key activities coordinated by the Department include:

Another important role of the Department is to support WMO systems for the benefit of Members and to provide internal capability and support for information technology.

Member Services & Development

Member Services assist National Meteorological and Hydrological Services in developing and least developed countries through projects, technology and knowledge transfer, education and training, and development partnerships. It coordinates the WMO Regional Associations meetings in which Members define the priorities for each regional and plan the implementation of WMO recommendations, based on their capacities. Member Services has several regional and sub-regional offices:

Regional Office for Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

  • Representative Office for North, West and Central Africa in Abuja, Nigeria
  • Representative Office for  Eastern and Southern Africa in Nairobi, Kenya

Regional Office for Asia and the South West Pacific in Singapore

Regional Office for America in Asuncion, Paraguay

  • Representative Office for North and Central America and the Caribbean in Costa Rica

Regional Office for Europe in Geneva