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Argentina’s Celeste Saulo appointed as 1st female SG of WMO; India’s Mrutyunjay Mohapatra elected as 3rd VP

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UN climate agency picks Argentina's Saulo as first woman leaderOn 1st June 2023, Prof Celeste Saulo, a leading meteorologist from Argentina, was appointed as the first female Secretary-General (SG) of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the United Nations (UN)’s specialised agency for meteorology.

  • Celeste Saulo, who is currently serving as 1st Vice-President of WMO, will take over as SG of WMO on 1st January 2024.
  • She will succeed Prof Petteri Taalas of Finland, who has been the SG of WMO (for 2 terms) since 2016.

Note: Celeste 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.

About Celeste Saulo:

i.Celeste Saulo has been a member of various expert scientific panels of WMO. She was elected as a member of the WMO Executive Council in 2015 and later elected as the 2nd VP of WMO in 2018.

ii. In 2019, she was elected as the 1st VP of WMO and became the first woman to hold that position.

iii. Until 2018, she was a member of the Scientific Steering Committee for the World Weather Research Program (WWRP).

iv. She has also been a member of the Working Group on Seasonal to Inter-annual Prediction and of the World Climate Research Programme(WCRP)/CIVILAR (Climate Variability and Predictability) Panel for the Variability of the American Monsoon Systems.

IMD DG Mrutyunjay Mohapatra elected as 3rd VP of WMO:

Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, Director General (DG) of India Meteorological Department (IMD), under the Ministry of Earth Science, has been elected as the Third Vice-President of WMO. 

Other Major Appointments at WMO:

i. Abdulla Al Mandous– Director General of the National Center of Meteorology, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Permanent Representative of UAE and President of the WMO Regional Association for Asia, was elected as the next President of WMO for a four-year term from 2023 to 2027.

ii. DaoudaKonate– director of meteorology of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire was elected as the 1st VP of WMO for the next four years and Eoin MORAN, Director of Irish Meteorological Service, Ireland was elected as the 2nd VP of WMO.


i. The election was held on 22nd May 2023, during the ongoing 19th World Meteorological Congress (Cg-19) in Geneva, Switzerland.

ii. The general assembly of WMO’s 193 member states and territories takes place every four years.

  • Mrutyunjay Mohapatra received 113 votes out of a total of 148.

About Mrutyunjay Mohapatra:

i. Mrutyunjay Mohapatra hailing from Odisha started his career as a Junior science assistant in Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) in 1988.

ii. He joined IMD in 1992 and was working in Odisha and he was shifted to Delhi in 2002. Since 2007, he served as the head of the cyclone division in IMD.

iii. He has been serving as the DG of IMD in New Delhi, Delhi.

iv. He serves as the Chairman of the Regional Sub-project Management Team of Severe Weather Forecast Programme for South Asia.

v. He is in the Task Team for the finalisation of Meteorological Payloads of Indian National Satellite (INSAT)-4 satellites to be launched in 2025.

vi. He has published more than 125 research articles in peer-reviewed national/international journals and has edited over 20 books and 8 Journals.

vii. He received several awards and recognitions from different agencies including the 25th Biennial Mausam Award (2008-2009).

About World Meteorological Organization (WMO):
Established in– 23 March 1950
Secretary-General- Professor Petteri Taalas
Headquarters– Geneva, Switzerland