“When I assumed my current position, my country faced unprecedented flooding. My colleagues and I worked tirelessly to reduce human casualties. We participated in many TV and radio programmes and engaged directly with the people at risk to provide early warnings. (…) Science plays a significant role in saving human lives and property.”
Dr Tajbakhsh Mosalman has over 20 years of experience in meteorology. Upon her appointment to the presidency of IRIMO, Iran was faced with unprecedented flooding. Together with her team, Dr Tajbakhsh Mosalman worked tirelessly to reduce human casualties by disseminating warnings through multiple channels and engaging directly with the people at risk. She turned this critical condition into an opportunity to underscore the important role of IRIMO to other stakeholders and managed to obtain increased investment in the early warning and observation system in her country. Dr Tajbakhsh Mosalman has published over 40 publications, given over 50 presentations and implemented over 20 research projects nationally and internationally, including on aeronautical meteorology, climate change, weather hazards and remote sensing application in meteorology. She is Faculty Member of the Iran Atmospheric Science and Meteorological Research Centre and has previously led the WMO Regional Training Centre.
Dr Tajbakhsh Mosalman’s interest in meteorology stems from her interest in physics. Having completed a BSc in this subject, she continued with MSc and a PhD in meteorology, which she found to be one of the most tangible branches of physics.
Overcoming challenges and key to success
When I started working at IRIMO, all thirty-one directors working in the provinces and all fifteen directors working at IRIMO Headquarters, except one, were men. Later when I was appointed Director, it was not easy for me to be accepted in this role, as not all men approve of female leadership in the workplace.
Dr Tajbakhsh Mosalman believes that anything can be achieved with hard work. She cites Jalaloddin Rumi, the famous Persian poet: “What you seek is seeking you.”
Advice to young female scientists
- Have an interest and scientific knowledge in the desired field, such as meteorology
- Understand the role that science plays in social fields, especially related to the protection of human lives and property
- Know and get involved in the main activities of these fields
- Be confident and disciplined
- Actively participate in social events and media, especially on the occurrence of extreme weather conditions.
Interviewed in April 2019