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Photo: Michel Jarraud, WMO

Biography, Mr. Michel Jarraud

Secretary-General, World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

Born 31 January 1952 (France)
Married – 2 children

Education (University level):

  • 1969 - 1971: "Classes préparatoires aux Grandes Ecoles" (General scientific studies with major emphasis on Mathematics and Physics, leading to competitive examination entry in French "Grandes Ecoles").
  • 1971 - 1974: Ecole Polytechnique – Paris - France (Ecole Polytechnique is the most prestigious University level scientific establishment in France) with final degree of "Ingénieur de l'Ecole Polytechnique". Major emphasis on Mathematics and Physics with chemistry and economics as additional subjects.
  • 1974 - 1976: Ecole de la Météorologie Nationale – Paris - France with final degree of "Ingénieur de la Météorologie"

Professional experience:

September 1976 – May 1978: Météo France (Paris)

  • Researcher in NWP (Numerical Weather Prediction)

June 1978 – December 1985: ECMWF (European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecast) – Reading (UK): ECMWF is an intergovernmental organization with 17 European Member States.

  • Researcher in NWP specialist of mathematical techniques for modelling the atmosphere and of programming on supercomputers. Played a major rôle in the development of the ECMWF operational numerical model, one of the leading NWP models in the world.

January 1986 – December 1989: Météo France (Paris)

  • Director of French national forecasting division with responsibility for:
    General forecasting, including early warnings in case of extreme events;
    Aeronautical forecasting; Marine forecasting; Forecasting for national professional
    users; Relations with national medias
  • Other activities:
    Responsible for the design and initiation of a project, aiming at the development
    of a workstation for forecasters. This led to a commercial product sold in several

January 1990 – December 1994: ECMWF – Reading (UK)

  • Deputy Director of ECMWF (from 1.1.1991)
  • Head of Operations Department with responsibility for:
    • Operational activities of ECMWF
    • ECMWF scientific computing centre and telecommunication network
    • Operational relationship and cooperation with its 17 ECMWF Member States

January 1995 – December 2003: World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Geneva: WMO is a specialised agency of the United Nations System with 188 Members, responsible for meteorology, climate, operational hydrology and related geosciences.

  • Deputy Secretary General
    • Major contribution to WMO short and long term planning
    • Responsible for supervision of scientific and technical Departments
  • Other activities:
    • WMO representative in the UN Inter-Agency Task Force for the ISDR (International Strategy for Disaster Reduction).
    • Coordination of WMO’s contribution to the World Summit on Sustainable Development (2002) and its follow-up.
    • Responsible for contacts at highest level between WMO and satellite operators, with ECMWF and EUMETSAT Councils and the European Commission.

January 2004 – World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Geneva

  • Secretary General of WMO
  • Other activities: Member of the Preliminary Management Oversight Board (Pre-MOB) of the ISDR system


  • French (mother tongue)
  • English (fluent)
  • German (fair)


  • Member of the French Meteorological Society
  • Fellow of the American Meteorological Society (USA)
  • Honorary member of the Chinese Meteorological Society
  • Honorary member of the Cuban Meteorological Society
  • Member of the Royal Meteorological Society (UK)
  • Member of the African Meteorological Society


  • First Class Distinction awarded by the Civil Defence of Venezuela, in recognition of services in relation to natural disasters which affected the country in 1999, Venezuela (April 2001)
  • Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) of the Universidad Nacional Agraria « La Molina », Peru (April 2004)
  • “Commandeur de l’Ordre national du Lion”, Senegal (April 2005)