Liu Yaming

Liu Yaming

Administrator of China Meteorological Administration, Permanent Representative of China with WMO


“There is a saying in China that ‘women can hold up half the sky’. Female professionals in meteorological fields like observation, forecasting, service delivery and scientific research (…) are worthy of the title - 'half the sky'. We should thank them for their contribution to the development of meteorology.”


Ms Liu has over 35 years experience in hydrology and meteorology. Her career rose from the grassroots level to holding leadership roles in the Changjiang Water Resources Commission and the Ministry of Water Resources, culminating in her position as Vice-Minister of the Ministry of Water Resources. She is a member of the WMO Constituent Bodies Reform Task Force, the Executive Council Working Group on Disaster Risk Reduction and that on Strategic and Operational Planning. Throughout her career, Ms Liu has been involved in the modernization of the meteorology and hydrology sectors and has contributed to an improved disaster management system in China, a country prone to natural disasters. 

Why meteorology?

Ms Liu studied river mechanics and river control engineering in university. After graduating from college, she was assigned to a riverbed laboratory, where she worked for eleven years. She cannot forget how she used to survey and measure riverbeds bare-footed, a precious memory in her life. 

Since then, her interest and progressive work in hydrology was intertwined with meteorology. She believes that cooperation between these fields is crucial, especially in flood control and drought relief. Her sense of fulfillment in this profession is determined by the contribution of meteorology and hydrology to disaster risk reduction and sustainable development.

“Meteorology and hydrology are closely related. The cooperation between these two sectors is now stronger and allows me to have a deeper appreciation of the importance of a successful meteorological service to disaster risk reduction, economic and social development at the national level and sustainable development at the global level.”

Overcoming challenges and key to success

Ms Liu thinks that technology is evolving in an unprecedented way, the biggest challenges being conservative thinking and knowledge lagging behind. She says it is important to remind ourselves to keep learning, stay hungry for knowledge, get rid of old ideas and insist on field researchto keep pace with time and take correct decisions. 

National development in China, her personal dedication and efforts, as well as the support and understanding of her family, were key to her success. The work at the grassroots level, which was often laborious, gave her valuable opportunities to experience and understand the value of rivers and streams to the local population.

Advice to young female scientists

Ms Liu recalls the Chinese saying that "women can hold up half the sky." She says that engaging in meteorology represents a glorious mission and a great responsibility. She hopes that young female professionals will:

  • Continue carrying forward the spirit of pioneering and innovation as well as seize every minute and venture to challenge themselves
  • Pay attention to health, take good care of family members, in particular children, and strike a proper balance between work and family.

Interviewed in April 2019