No. 918 - World Meteorological Congress elects President and Vice-Presidents

No. 918 - World Meteorological Congress elects President and Vice-Presidents



25 May 2011
Press Release Number:

World Meteorological Congress elects President and Vice-Presidents

Geneva, 25 May 2011 (WMO) - Mr David Grimes (Canada) was today elected as President of the World Meteorological Organization for a four year term in office. Mr Grimes is the Assistant Deputy Minister, Meteorological Service of Canada, Environment Canada, and Permanent Representative of Canada to the WMO – positions he has held since 2006.

Dr Antonio Divino Moura (Brazil) was elected First Vice President; Prof. Mieczyslaw S. Ostojski (Poland) Second Vice-President and Mr Abdalah Mokssit (Morocco) Third Vice-President.

The elections took place during the WMO Congress (16 May-3 June) which decides the strategic directions, priorities, budget and office holders of the UN System’s authoritative voice on weather, water and climate. Congress reappointed Mr Michel Jarraud as WMO Secretary-General on Tuesday for another four year term of office.

“As leaders of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs), we recognize the critical role WMO plays for humanity in the area of weather, climate and water in facilitating cooperation across borders and oceans, in building scientific leadership and in instilling a passion for excellence,” said Mr Grimes. He said he would strengthen these contributions.

He said his priorities over the next four years would include: promoting the implementation of the Global Framework for Climate Services to empower countries to adapt to climate change; strengthening the role NMHSs in disaster risk reduction; capacity building; and promoting integrated, quality assured Earth observations.

The WMO President presides over the sessions of Congress and the Executive Council which guide WMO activities in research and services related to weather, water and climate which are fundamental to people’s daily lives.

Mr Grimes will succeed immediately after the XVI Congress, Dr Alexander Bedritskiy (Russian Federation), who has held the position for eight years.

Dr Bedritskiy said he was confident that the new President and Vice Presidents would strengthen WMO as it seeks to respond to challenges facing humanity such as climate change.

Short biographies of WMO President and Vice-Presidents

Mr David Grimes is Assistant Deputy Minister, Meteorological Service of Canada, Environment Canada and Permanent Representative of Canada since July 2006. He has more than 35 years of scientific, research and management experience at Environment Canada, and over 20 years experience working with WMO initiatives and programmes, supporting the Executive Council activities since 1993. He is a career meteorologist who studied mathematics, nuclear and quantum physics at Brock University in Ontario.

Dr Antonio Divino Moura is Director of the Meteorological Institute of Brazil (INMET). He has been Third Vice President of WMO since 2007. He was also the founding Director General of the International Research Institute for Climate and Society at Columbia University (1996-2002); and researcher and Professor in Meteorology at the Brazilian Space Research Institute and the University of São Paulo.

Prof. Mieczyslaw S. Ostojski is Director of the Institute of Meteorology and Water Management of Poland. Since 2007, he has served as a member of WMO Executive Council and from 2009 as Vice-President of the Regional Association for Europe. He is active in strengthening traditional cooperation within Europe and with other regions and enhancing the visibility and the importance of the NMHS role. 

Mr Abdalah Mokssit is Director of the National Meteorological Service of Morocco and Vice President of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Working Group I which assesses the physical scientific aspects of the climate system and climate change. He is a prominent member of several WMO commissions including the Commission on Climatology and the Commission for Basic Systems.


World Meteorological Organization is the United Nations System’s

authoritative voice on Weather, Climate and Water

For more information, please contact:


Carine Richard-Van Maele, Chief, Communications and Public Affairs, Tel: +41 (0)22 730 8315;


Clare Nullis, Media Officer, Communications and Public Affairs, Tel: +41 (0)22 730 8478; (41-79) 7091397 (cell) e-mail:


WMO website:

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