The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has selected Mike Brennan to serve as the next director of its National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami.
Brennan has spent nearly all his 15-year NOAA career at NHC, serving as the acting NHC deputy director for the past year. Since 2018, Brennan has been the branch chief of the Hurricane Specialist Unit. During this period, he supervised one of NOAA’s highest profile operational forecast units through 18 US landfalling hurricanes — including eight major hurricanes — and more than 20 US tropical storm landfalls.
Rick Spinrad, NOAA administrator, said, “The NHC director is one of the most visible and important jobs in the nation, and Mike possesses the right combination of experience, leadership and personal traits to prepare and guide us through major storms. Alongside our trusted and dedicated team at NHC, Mike will continue to leverage vital partnerships to provide the best forecasts and build resilience to the impacts of hurricanes in US communities.”
Brennan began his NHC career in 2008 as a senior hurricane specialist for 10 years, following a year as the science and operations officer for the Weather Prediction Center. He has extensive experience in effective communication of tropical cyclone hazards and impact-based decision support services to federal, state, local and international partners — along with experience working across NOAA and with other federal agencies to ensure the multifaceted execution of the nation’s Hurricane Forecast and Warning program.
He earned a bachelor’s in meteorology and a master’s and PhD in atmospheric science, all from North Carolina State University.
Ken Graham, director of NOAA’s National Weather Service, said, “I had the pleasure of working with Mike for four years at NHC, where I observed his steadfast dedication to the mission of saving lives and property. Mike is an innovator who has built incredible relationships across the agency and with our emergency management and media partners, and I look forward to the great things ahead at NHC under his leadership.”
Brennan commented, “I am honored and humbled to work with the talented staff at the NHC at a time when we are making exciting advancements in hurricane forecasts and developing new decision support tools to improve community resilience to powerful hurricanes and tropical storms. Along with our colleagues across the National Weather Service and NOAA, we’re working to improve community safety through clear communication on the various hazards posed by these storms.”
Brennan fills the role left vacant by the departure of Ken Graham, who became the director of the National Weather Service in June 2022. Jamie Rhome has served as the acting director of the NHC since that time and will resume his duties as the center’s deputy director.