Dorothy Koch New Director of the WPO

  • May 26, 2021
  • Event Announcement,Home Page Feature
  • Dorothy Koch

    In late April 2021, Dr. Dorothy Koch became the new director of NOAA’s Weather Program Office (WPO). Excerpts follow from the announcement email sent to Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) division staff, the division within which WPO resides.

    Congratulations, Dorothy!


    Dear Colleagues:

    I’m pleased to announce our selection of Dr. Dorothy Koch as our new director of the Weather Program Office (WPO). Dr. Koch will assume this role on April 26th. I’d also like to offer my sincerest thanks to Dr. Russell Schneider who has ably stepped in to lead WPO since the early Fall.

    Dr. Koch comes to us from NOAA’s National Weather Service having spent two years as the Director of the Modeling Division within the Office of Science and Technology Integration. During her time in this role, she developed a deep and thorough understanding of the complex modeling and budget portfolios that intertwine NWS, OAR, and NESDIS. Dorothy is a versatile leader with a proven track record as a subject matter expert in innovating and launching complex, multidisciplinary atmospheric and environmental science programs. She solidified NOAA’s support for the Unified Forecast System (UFS) by establishing the NWS-OAR-community Unified Forecast System Research to Operations (UFS R2O) Project. She also conducted activities to align research and development priorities with forecaster requirements, and strengthened several key interagency partnerships.

    Prior to joining NOAA, Dr. Koch worked for 10 years at the Department of Energy (DoE) leading, transforming, and growing DoE’s Earth System Modeling portfolio combining laboratory and university research projects. During this effort, she launched the Energy Exascale Earth System Model Project, a state-of-the-science Earth system model development and simulation project designed to investigate energy-relevant science and to effectively utilize DoE’s High Performance Computers. […] Before DoE, Dr. Koch worked for 15 years at Columbia University and NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS) where she led the development of the GISS climate model’s aerosol component and studied aerosol-climate interactions. She participated in several international aerosol community activities and served as a Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 5th Assessment Report (IPCC AR5).


    We look forward to the successes Dr. Koch can bring to WPO, OAR, and NOAA. Please join me in welcoming her to our research team.

    Ko Barrett

    OAR Deputy Assistant Administrator
    Programs and Administration

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