Prof. Celeste Saulo the first female Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization.PHOTO/ WMO
By SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
Prof. Celeste Saulo of Argentina has been appointed as the first female Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), taking the helm of an organization at the fore of international efforts to monitor and tackle climate change and increasingly extreme weather.
Prof. Saulo, has been Director of the National Meteorological Service of Argentina since 2014 and is currently the First Vice-President of WMO. She will take office on 1 January 2024 and succeeds Prof Petteri Taalas, who has completed his two-term mandate.
Prof. Saulo was appointed after receiving the requisite two thirds majority of votes from delegates at the quadrennial World Meteorological Congress, the top decision-making body of the 193-Member WMO.
The next WMO President will be Dr. Abdulla Al Mandous Director General of the National Center of Meteorology, United Arab Emirates Permanent Representative of UAE and President of the WMO Regional Association for Asia. He received the majority of votes during the presidential elections.
“In these times when inequality and climate change are the greatest global threats, the WMO must contribute to strengthening the Meteorological and Hydrological Services to protect populations and their economies, providing timely and effective services and early warning systems,” Prof. Saulo said.
“My ambition is to lead the WMO towards a scenario in which the voice of all Members is heard equally, prioritizing those most vulnerable and in which the actions it undertakes are aligned with the needs and particularities of each one of them,” said Prof. Saulo.
Prof. Saulo pursued a career in academia: she combined her calling for science and teaching with university management and the connection of scientific research with the needs of the society.
At the National Meteorological Service of Argentina, she promoted substantive organizational changes, based on a management that strives for concrete results, meets social demands, articulates at national, regional and international levels, and cultivates equity, inclusion and mutual respect.
Prof. Saulo has long involvement with WMO. She was elected in June 2015 as a member of the WMO Executive Council. In April 2018, she was elected as Second Vice-president for WMO and, in June 2019, she was elected First Vice-President, becoming the first woman to hold the office.
Prior to that, Prof. Saulo was a member of various WMO expert scientific panels.
Until 2018, she was a member of the Scientific Steering Committee for the World Weather Research Program (WWRP). She has also been a member of the Working Group on Seasonal to Interannual Prediction and of the WCRP/CLIVAR Panel for the Variability of the American Monsoon Systems.
Her research has been key for better understanding the South American Monsoon System, and the associated patterns of precipitation and circulation during the warm season. In the last few years, she deepened her activity on interdisciplinary problems such as wind energy production, agricultural applications, and early warning systems.
She has authored or co-authored more than 60 peer-reviewed scientific journal articles and book chapters. She supervised many students both at the undergraduate and graduate levels and, acting as Principal Investigator in 23 research projects financed by national and international agencies.
Her vast teaching experience has been mainly related with numerical weather prediction, atmosphere dynamics and thermodynamics, mesoscale meteorology, cloud dynamics and cloud microphysics.
Prof. Saulo is married with two children.
She says her favorite activities are playing tennis, cooking for her family and dancing Latin rhythms. She is passionate about music, enjoys reading and cinema.