Petteri Taalas / Secretary-General, World Meteorological Organization

Professor Taalas was elected in May 2015 as the Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

for a mandate running from 2016 to 2019 and re-elected for a second term in June 2019. He was born in 1961 in

Helsinki, Finland. He holds a PhD in Meteorology (Helsinki University, Physics department 1993, Univ. of Eastern

Finland: meteorology, physics, physical chemistry and international development)


Before joining WMO he was the Director-General of the Finnish Meteorological Institute 2002-

2005, 2007-2015 (National weather, climate and marine Institute).

He has also held positions in International development and scientific fields:


Director of Development and Regional Activities Department of WMO, Geneva 2005-2007

Research professor on Remote Sensing/FMI 2000-2002

Senior scientist/scientist at the FMI 1986-1999


He is also a Member of various international activities:

  • Member of WMO Executive Council 2008-2015
  • Chairman of EUMETSAT Council 2010-2014 (European Meteorological Satellite Organization)
  • Chairman of EUMETNET Council 2003-2005

(EUMETNET is a network of 31 European National Meteorological Services based in Brussels),

Member of ECMWF Council 2002-5, 2007-2015,

(The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts is an independent intergovernmental

organisation supported by most of the nations of Europe and is based at Shinfield Park, Reading,


  • Principal Delegate of Finland to IPCC 2007-15 (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)
  • Member of American Meteorological Society 2007-2014
  • Honorary Doctor, Teri University, India (2016)
  • Honorary Member 2015, China Meteorological Association
  • Chairman of the Board of University of Eastern Finland (2009-2015)
  • Member Board of Directors of Fortum Energy Company (2013-2015)
  • Global Commission on Adaptation, Commissioner 2019. Co-led by emeritus UNSG Ban Ki-Moon and
  • World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva
  • Ex-patriot of the Year 2019/Finland. Elected by the Parliament of expats of Finland
  • High-level Climate Action Summit for the heads of state by UN Secretary General, Steering group
  • member and Chair of the Science Advisory Group, 2019