Keynote Speakers & Invited Speakers

NWA 45th Annual Meeting

Virtual Meeting | September 13-17, 2020

Keynote Speakers & Invited Speakers

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This year's Keynote Speakers will include Dr. Avi Goldfarb, Dr. Florence Rabier and Dr. Desiree Hill.

Dr. Avi Goldfarb

Avi Goldfarb is the Rotman Chair in Artificial Intelligence and Healthcare and a professor of marketing at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.

Avi is also Chief Data Scientist at the Creative Destruction Lab, Senior Editor at Marketing Science, and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Avi’s research focuses on the opportunities and challenges of the digital economy and Artificial Intelligence.

He has published over 70 academic articles in a variety of outlets in marketing, statistics, law, computing, and economics.

Along with Ajay Agrawal and Joshua Gans, Avi is the author of the bestselling book Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence.

Prediction Machines follows inescapable logic to explain how to navigate the changes on the horizon. The impact of AI will be profound, but the economic framework for understanding it is surprisingly simple.

Dr. Florence Rabier

Dr. Rabier has been Director-General of European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF). A position she has held since January 2016.

Dr. Rabier is an internationally recognized expert in Numerical Weather Prediction, whose leadership has greatly contributed to delivering major operational changes at both ECMWF and Météo-France.

She is especially well known within the meteorological community for her key role in implementing an innovative data assimilation method (4D-Var) in 1997, which was a first worldwide and contributed to an optimal use of satellite observations in weather forecasting.

She also led an international experiment involving a major field campaign over Antarctica, in the context of the International Polar Year and the WMO THORPEX program.

Dr. Desiree Hill

Desiree Hill, Ph.D., is a researcher, professor, former broadcast executive, and documentary filmmaker.

Her research focuses on journalism/trauma, severe weather media use, and new media. She has presented her research internationally, including Athens (International Conference on Communication and Mass Media) and Sweden (International Crisis Communication Conference).

Desiree’s broadcast experience includes Executive Producer for KOCO and KWTV, Vice-President of News for Pappas Telecasting, and Senior Strategist for AR&D (a broadcast consulting firm). She continues to work with newsrooms across the country, including KOCO following the 2013 tornado.

Her recent film Words from a Bear (associate producer) premiered at Sundance, aired in the PBS American Masters series, and is nominated for a best documentary Emmy.
Desiree teaches broadcast journalism at the University of Central Oklahoma.

This year's Invited Speakers will include Dr. Louis Uccellini, Dr. Neil Jacobs and Dr. Aaron Hill.

Dr. Louis Uccellini

Dr. Louis W. Uccellini is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Assistant Administrator for Weather Services, and Director of the National Weather Service. In this role, he is responsible for the day-to-day civilian weather operations for the United States, its territories, adjacent waters, and ocean areas.

Prior to this position, he served as the Director of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) for 14 years. He was responsible for directing and planning the science, technology, and operations related to NCEP’s nine centers:
Central Operations, Environmental Modeling Center, Ocean Prediction Center, Hydrometeorological Prediction Center, Climate Prediction Center, all in Camp Springs, MD; the National Hurricane Center in Miami, FL; Storm Prediction Center in Norman, OK; Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, CO; and the Aviation Weather Center in Kansas City, MO. With his leadership, the 13 year effort to plan, develop and build the new NOAA Center for Weather and Climate Prediction (the NCWCP Building) at the University of Maryland M Squared Research Center was completed; as was the implementation of a Seamless Suite of Models from the S2S to Mesoscale modeling systems based on the principle of multi model ensembles.

Dr. Uccellini was the Director of the National Weather Service’s Office of Meteorology from 1994 to 1999, Chief of the National Weather Service’s Meteorological Operations Division from 1989 to 1994, and section head for the Mesoscale Analysis and Modeling Section at the Goddard Space Flight Center’s Laboratory for Atmospheres from 1978 to 1989.

Dr. Uccellini received his Ph.D. (1977), Master (1972) and Bachelor of Science (1971) degrees in meteorology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has published 70 peer-reviewed articles and chapters in books on subjects including analysis of severe weather outbreaks, snowstorms, gravity waves, jet streaks, cyclones, and the use of satellite data in analysis and modeling applications; and more recently the basis for the Joint Center for Satellite Data Assimilation, Earth System Prediction Capability for addressing the WMO “Grand Challenge” for seamless weather-climate prediction and the Restructuring of the NWS to Build a Weather Ready Nation. He is the co-author of a widely acclaimed two-volume American Meteorological Society (AMS) monograph Northeast Snowstorms, published in 2004, and authored chapters in the 1990 AMS publication Extratropical Cyclones, the 1999 AMS publication The Life Cycles of Extratropical Cyclones, and the 2008 AMS publication Synoptic Dynamic Meteorology and Weather Analysis and Forecasting.

Dr. Uccellini is the Permanent US Representative at the World Meteorological Organization, and has served on many national and international research and field experiment programs. He has received many awards in recognition of his research and operational achievements including the Maryland Academy of Sciences Distinguished Young Scientist Award (1981), the NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement (1985), the AMS’s prestigious Clarence Leroy Meisinger Award (1985), the Cleveland Abbe Award (2016), and the National Weather Association’s Research Achievement Awards for Significant Contributions to Operational Meteorology (1996). He was elected as President of the AMS in 2012-2013 and served as Co-Chief Editor of Weather and Forecasting from 1988-1992. In 2001 and again in 2016, he received the U.S. Presidential Meritorious Executive Rank Award and in 2006, he received the U.S. Presidential Distinguished Rank Award. In 2019,  Dr. Uccellini was selected as a National Academy of Public Administration Fellow.

Dr. Neil Jacobs

Dr. Neil Jacobs is the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Environmental Observation and Prediction, performing the duties of Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere. Dr. Jacobs is responsible for the strategic direction and oversight of over $5.54 billion in annual spending, including key investments in developing a community model framework to advance U.S. weather modeling and prediction, space innovation, streamlining unmanned systems research to provide critical data across NOAA’s mission areas, and unlocking the partnership potential of non-governmental and private organizations to study our nation’s oceans and promote a blue economy.

Previously as the Chief Atmospheric Scientist at Panasonic Avionics Corporation, he directed the research and development of both the aviation weather observing platform and weather forecast model programs. He was previously the Chair of the American Meteorological Society’s Forecast Improvement Group, and also served on the World Meteorological Organization’s aircraft-based observing systems expert team.

Dr. Jacobs holds a bachelor degree in mathematics and physics from the University of South Carolina and masters and doctoral degrees in atmospheric science from North Carolina State University.

Dr. Aaron Hill

Dr. Aaron Hill joined the Colorado State University Department of Atmospheric Science in the summer of 2019 as a Postdoctoral Fellow. Aaron earned his B.S. in meteorology with a minor in applied mathematics from the University of Washington in 2012. Later he received his M.S. (2014) and Ph.D. (2019) from the Department of Geosciences at Texas Tech University.

Aaron has conducted extensive research in predictability of convection and targeted observing during his graduate research, and has participated in numerous large-scale field campaigns including VORTEX-SE and TORUS. At Colorado State, Aaron is advancing machine learning techniques to probabilistically forecast convection hazards, including extreme rainfall, severe wind, hail, and tornadoes.

Aaron serves as an associate editor for the journal Monthly Weather Review and is program chair for the next American Meteorological Society Weather Analysis and Forecasting/Numerical Weather Prediction conferences.

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