Michelle Hawkins

Michelle Hawkins

In today's rapidly changing world, we are faced with increasingly complex weather, water, and climate challenges which often have far-reaching consequences that transcend individual disciplines, sectors, and regions. Flooding, droughts, and extreme weather events, for instance, affect agriculture, energy production, public health, socio-economic stability, and environmental justice concerns. Addressing such challenges requires collaboration among experts from diverse backgrounds to identify interdependencies, trade-offs, and potential synergies. The paramount task I perceive for the Society is to expedite the advancement of weather, water, and climate science and services, while cultivating a culture of inclusivity and interdisciplinary collaboration.

Weather, water, and climate challenges are multifaceted and interconnected - much like the AMS community. When I walk the halls of the Annual Meeting I engage members with expertise in meteorology, hydrology, economics, public health, and other disciplines. I learn about new research and methodologies that advance our understanding of Earth as a unified system. By the end of the meeting, I am energized and comforted that the world’s top minds are leading the charge in addressing the formidable challenges that lie ahead. If elected I would work to foster greater opportunities for integrating multidisciplinary insights thereby allowing for more comprehensive, equitable, and inclusive solutions that address the needs of multiple sectors and stakeholders.

It is an absolute honor to be nominated to serve on the AMS Council. My experience working across disciplinary boundaries of atmospheric research, weather, climate, and policy development has equipped me with the knowledge and collaborative spirit required to make meaningful contributions to the Council. As a longtime AMS member with 20+ years in the field of atmospheric sciences I recognize the valuable contributions of the Society and I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to our continued growth. 

Michelle Hawkins, Ph.D. is a motivated leader and accomplished scientist with a passion for integrating weather and climate science with societal decision-making and policy development.  As a Senior Advisor for Climate and Sustainability at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Dr. Hawkins currently works to incorporate climate and sustainability considerations in HUD’s operations and business practices to ensure communities can equitably prepare for a changing climate and recover from extreme weather.   

Prior to joining HUD, Dr. Hawkins was selected as a Fellow in the prestigious White House Leadership Development Program where she spent sixteen months at the White House Council on Environmental Quality as Director for Strategic Initiatives in the Office of the Federal Chief Sustainability Officer. In this role Dr. Hawkins led efforts to advance environmental justice, climate literacy, and Federal employee engagement on climate and sustainability priorities. 

Dr. Hawkins previously served as Chief of the Severe, Fire, Public, and Winter Weather Services Branch at NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS). In this role, she oversaw the development of requirements, policy, and procedures for NWS forecast and warning services for some of the nation’s most dangerous weather hazards. Dr. Hawkins also led initiatives across the Federal government to better understand, communicate, and minimize the health impacts of extreme heat, resulting in collaborative life-saving improvements to Federal heat services.

In 2019 Dr. Hawkins received the Black Engineer of the Year Modern Day Technology Leader Award, which recognizes professionals who are shaping the future of STEM in their careers and communities. Dr. Hawkins holds a B.S. in Chemistry and Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences from Howard University.