Profiles of speakers at the Plenary Sessions


Horst Böttger, EMS President
Chair and speaker Opening Session

Horst Böttger retired from ECMWF in 2008. He has a Diploma degree in Meteorology and a Doctorate in natural sciences from Free University (FU) in Berlin. He worked as research scientist at the FU from 1972 to 1979 and took up a position at ECMWF in 1979, first as senior scientist and Head of Met Operations Section, and since 1987 as Head of the Meteorological Division. His background is primarily in operational meteorology, synoptic meteorology and forecasting.

From 2008 to 2014 Horst Böttger chaired the EMS Committee on Meetings that is tasked to propose to Council the programme of future conferences and also take a strategic view the further development of the EMS Annual Meetings. His term as EMS President will end with this Annual Meeting in Dublin.

Horst Böttger is a member of the German Meteorological Society (DMG), the Royal Meteorological Society (RMetS) and the American Meteorological Society (AMS).


Declan Murphy, IMS President
Welcome adress in the opening session

Declan Murphy has been President of the Irish Meteorological Society since April 2016.

Declan Murphy graduated from University College, Cork, Ireland, with a Master’s degree in experimental physics and began his career in Met Éireann (the Irish National Meteorological Service) in 1971. Following periods as an operational forecaster and manager of the IT Division, he was appointed Director of Met Éireann (and permanent representative of Ireland with the WMO) in 1989, a post he held for 20 years until his retirement in 2009.

He represented Ireland in many international meteorological organizations, including the WMO, EUMETSAT, and ECMWF. He was Chairman of the Council of EUMETSAT from 2004 to 2008 and Chairmen of the Policy Advisory Committee of ECMWF from 1999 to 2002.

Since his retirement, he has carried out a number of projects for EUMETSAT and the WMO, including authoring the history of EUMETSAT for its 25th anniversary in 2011, and conducting a Stakeholders’ Survey for WMO in 2016. He has also lectured part-time on Earth observation at University College Dublin.


Eoin Moran, Director of the Met Éireann
Strategic lecture

Eoin Moran was appointed Director of Met Éireann in September 2016. He joined Met Éireann in 1995 as a Meteorological Officer. He became a meteorologist in 1997 upon which he assumed the role of chief scientist at Valentia Meteorological and Geophysical Observatory, Co. Kerry. He returned to Dublin in 2007 to take up the position of Head of Met Éireann's Instrumentation and Environmental Monitoring Division. In 2011 he became Met Éireann’s Assistant Director before accepting the position of Director in 2016.

Eoin attended CBS, Doneraile, Co. Cork. He studied Mathematics (MSc) in National University of Ireland, Galway. He recently completed a Higher Diploma in Corporate Governance at UCD Smurfit Business School.


Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization
Strategic lecture

Petteri Taalas was elected Secretary-General of WMO by the World Meteorological Congress in 2015 for a four-year term.

He served as Director General of the Finnish Meteorological Institute 2007-2015 and again from 2002 to 2005; in the intermediate time he was the Director of WMO Development and Regional Activities Department (2005-2007). He served and continues to serve on the Councils of International institutions: the ECMWF Council 2002–2005 and 2007 to present, Chairman of EUMETSAT Council 2010–2014, EUMETNET Council 2003–2005; he is also the delegate of Finland to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change since 2007.

Petteri Taalas holds a PhD in Meteorology from the University of Helsinki (1993) and degrees in Management, Executive Education, Helsinki School of Economics (1998 and 2004). He is the author of some 50 peer-reviewed papers on satellite technology, global change, climate & atmospheric chemistry, and dozens of other publications & presentations.


Dr Florence Rabier, Director-General of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF)
Plenary Keynote

Dr. Florence Rabier has been the Director-General of ECMWF since January 2016, after 2 years leading the centre’s Forecast Department. Her career so far has taken her back and forth between Météo-France and ECMWF.

Dr. Rabier is an internationally recognised expert in numerical weather prediction, whose leadership has greatly contributed to delivering major operational changes at both ECMWF and Météo-France. She is especially well known within the meteorological community for her key role in implementing an innovative data assimilation method (4D-Var) in 1997, which was a first worldwide and contributed to an optimal use of satellite observations in weather forecasting. She also led an international experiment involving a major field campaign over Antarctica, in the context of the International Polar Year and the WMO THORPEX programme.

She has been awarded the title of “Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur”, one of the highest decorations awarded by the French honours system, and the Great Prize of the Air and Space Academy for the IASI (Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer) project and its atmospheric and weather applications.


Dr. Keith L. Seitter, Executive Director of the American Meteorological Society
Plenary Keynote

Dr. Keith L. Seitter joined the staff of the American Meteorological Society in 1991, and has served as its Executive Director since 2004. Seitter initially joined the AMS staff to improve the efficiency of the Society’s journal production process and prepare for the eventual transition of the journals to electronic delivery, at a time when the Internet was just beginning to flourish. Later, as Deputy Executive Director, Seitter was involved in all aspects of the Society’s programs, which prepared him well for the role of Executive Director.

Before joining the AMS, Seitter was on the faculty at the University of Lowell, now the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. He earned his undergraduate degree in meteorology at Pennsylvania State University and a doctorate in geophysical sciences at the University of Chicago. Seitter had a postdoctoral appointment at the Air Force Geophysical Laboratory at Hanscom Air Force Base before moving to the University of Lowell. Seitter is a Fellow of the AMS and a Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society. He is also a member of many other societies and organizations in the sciences and scholarly publishing and serves on a number of advisory boards. He has given numerous invited lectures and published a number of papers in AMS and other scientific and publishing journals.


Timo Vihma
Plenary Keynote

Timo Vihma is Research Professor and Head of the Polar Meteorology and Climatology Group at the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI). He also serves as adjunct professor at the University Centre in Svalbard, Norway, and at the University of Helsinki, Finland, where he earned his PhD in 1996.

His fields of expertise are Arctic and Antarctic meteorology and climate, boundary-layer meteorology, sea ice and snow, atmosphere-ocean interactions, as well as large-scale atmospheric circulation and teleconnections. Vihma has authored/co-authored more than 130 peer-reviewed publications and supervised several PhD theses. He represents Finland in the Atmospheric Working Group of the International Arctic Science Commission (IASC), and co-leads the Regional Processes and Transports Working Group of the International Arctic Systems for Observing the Atmosphere (IASOA). He has contributed to several activities of the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP), among others leading the atmospheric component of the Arctic Freshwater Synthesis. He is also a member of the Leadership Group of the Climate and Cryosphere (CliC) program, and serves in several advisory boards.