Elena Manaenkova has assumed office as Deputy Secretary-General and Wenjian Zhang as Assistant Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization, with effect from 1 September. They will support WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.
“The challenges of climate change, extreme weather and water resources means that the need for innovative, effective meteorological and hydrological services is greater than ever before,” said Mr Taalas. “The executive management team will strengthen WMO’s support of Members and provide leadership to an efficient and service-oriented Secretariat. "
Ms Manaenkova was WMO Assistant Secretary-General since June 2010 and has spearheaded WMO’s drive for gender equality and empowerment of women. The Geneva Environment Network earlier this year selected her as one of 20 “inspirational” women working for the environment.
Ms Manaenkova was Director of the Cabinet and External Relations Department from March 2006. She joined WMO in January 2003 as Director of the Atmospheric Research and Environment Department. Prior to that, she worked at the Russian Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring.
Mr Zhang has been the Director of WMO’s Observing and Information Systems Department and of the WMO Space Programme. He led the supporting efforts for the coordination and implementation of the WMO Integrated Global Observing System (WIGOS) including both space and surface components, WMO Information System (WIS), Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), and WMO’s polar and high mountain activities.
Prior to this position, he served as the Deputy Administrator of the China Meteorological Administration (CMA) from 2006-2008; Director-General of Observing and Information Systems Department of CMA (2004-2006); Director-General (1998-2004) of National Satellite Meteorological Center of China (CMA).
The nomination of Ms Manaenkova and Mr Zhang was approved by WMO’s Executive Council in June 2016. Mr Taalas, former Director-General of the Finnish Meteorological Institute, became Secretary-General on 1 January 2016.