Creating a Process to Manage Change in the National Weather Service

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Tuesday, 4 February 2014: 1:30 PM
Georgia Ballroom 2 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Edward R. Johnson, NWS, Silver Spring, MD; and J. Swanson Kagan

The National Weather Service (NWS) was the subject of two major studies published over the last two years, 2012-2013. The first study was conducted by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), culminating in “Weather Services for the Nation: Becoming Second to None” (2012). The second was a Congressionally-requested follow-on to the NAS study conducted by the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA), and published as “Forecast for the Future: Assuring the Capacity of the National Weather Service” (2013). Both studies emphasize the need for a process to manage change in NWS, and both included recommendations about how to organize such a process, including establishing advisory mechanisms under the auspices of the Federal Advisory Committee Act.

This paper takes the findings and recommendations of the NAS and NAPA reports as a starting point for a discourse on creating a process to manage changes in NWS. Key topics include: how to best engage key stakeholder groups; applying lessons from the process used in the 1990s NWS Modernization and Reconstruction; managing the relationship between the change process and the federal budget formulation process; and best approaches to establishing a federal advisory body for the National Weather Service and/or Weather-Ready Nation.

Disclaimer: The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the National Weather Service.