Professor Lesley Gray is set to take up her role as the new president of the Royal Meteorological Society (RMetS) on October 1, 2022.
Departing president Professor David Griggs will take up the post of vice-president alongside current vice-presidents Robert Varley and Catherine Senior and vice-president for Scotland Gary Johnston.
Gray works as an atmospheric researcher at the National Centre of Atmospheric Science (NCAS) unit based in the University of Oxford Physics Department. She is a professor of climate dynamics. Her expertise is in understanding and modeling dynamical processes in the stratosphere with an emphasis on natural variability and its impacts at the Earth’s surface. She has many years of experience leading national and international research projects.
Gray has been a long-standing member of RMetS, a previous council member, co-editor-in-chief of the society’s Quarterly Journal and most recently, vice-president.
“It is an incredible honor to serve as RMetS president,” said Gray. “I’d like to thank Dave Griggs, the outgoing president, for the considerable contributions he has made to the society in what has been a particularly challenging couple of years. I aim to maintain his momentum in promoting the importance of weather and climate across all aspects of sustainable development and in promoting the importance of achieving net-zero targets.
“During my time as a vice-president, I have learned so much about the amazing work of the society. I would like to help raise the profile of its activities and ensure that the society’s activities continue to adapt, grow and flourish in a fast-changing and challenging world. Now that we are able to get out and about again and meet in person, I am looking forward to meeting members and especially hearing their views on how we maintain our vibrancy and relevance.”
Praising outgoing president David Griggs, Professor Liz Bentley, chief executive, RMetS, said, “It has been a pleasure working with Dave over recent years, and I would like to add my personal thanks for his support during the challenging times of the pandemic. I’m sure it has been a strange presidential term for Dave, not being able to meet with staff and members of the society until the last few months. However, we were fortunate that Dave has been able to contribute in many other ways through virtual meetings, support in delivering our new strategic plan at the beginning of 2021 and his guidance on matters of sustainability and net zero targets. I’m sure Dave will continue to play an important role in supporting the Society in the years to come.”
In his departing statement, Griggs said, “When I started my term as president, I said the thing I was looking forward to most was ‘meeting staff and volunteers, attending stimulating conferences and meetings, visiting local centers and generally immersing myself in the work of the society’. Well, thanks to Covid-19, my term as president could not have been more different, until recently largely being carried out over video calls and email. It has certainly been a challenging two years with staff working largely from home. However, it is to their enormous credit that a varied and full work program has been maintained, and membership has stayed strong. So, although I feel like I have been an invisible president, nonetheless, it has been enjoyable and rewarding thanks to the staff, committee members, volunteers and everyone who ensures that the society continues to thrive, and I wish Lesley well for her term as president.”