Sepideh Yalda

Sepideh Yalda

As we close in on the first quarter into the 21st century, our planet and its peoples face an uncertain and potentially destabilizing future caused or exacerbated by the impacts accompanying weather, water, and climate extremes. These problems are interconnected, socially complex, intersectional, and transdisciplinary, international, and geopolitically sensitive with no straightforward solutions. I believe in people as the front-line problem-solvers, and the AMS member community and affiliates have the breadth and diversity, ingenuity, and acumen, to best represent and support the critical connections between our science and people that can lead to real change. It is the opportunity to build on our rich heritage, join the ongoing efforts, and help to stimulate the impetus for moving forward that I stand as a candidate for AMS President-elect. 

If afforded the privilege of serving in the presidency, it will be my priority to work with the commissions, boards, committees, and staff to amplify the voices of AMS members, partners, and stakeholders from across all sectors to create an effective and powerful platform to address and communicate the complex challenges that span the spectrum from science to services. I will draw upon my involvement in transdisciplinary academic work and practice, which has focused on the nexus between atmospheric sciences and emergency management workforce development. For over 15 years, I have been participating in efforts to build bridges and intersections between academia, local and state governments, NWS, FEMA, non-profit relief organizations, international partners, the United Nations, private sector and other communities (emergency managers, fire services, first responders, law and policy makers). I would lean on this experience to provide opportunities for reinforcing and strengthening partnerships, and stage platforms where new partners can inject fresh perspectives and join in addressing the multi-dimensional challenges related to weather, water and climate that face humanity. 

I am humbled to be your candidate to serve our community in the role as President-elect and, if elected, will direct my efforts toward helping each member contribute and, in return, benefit from the contribution of all, so that together we can continue to build a more equitable and inclusive society.

Sepideh Yalda is a Professor of Meteorology in the Department of Earth Sciences and Director of the Center for Disaster Research and Education at Millersville University. She also serves as the Program Coordinator for the Master of Science in Emergency Management (MSEM) and the Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management (BSEM) programs. She has led efforts in creating the BSEM program, which is a pathway for students in meteorology to prepare for careers at the intersection of meteorology and emergency management. In her role as CDRE Director, she is involved in local, regional, national, and international efforts related to disaster education, preparedness, planning, and integrated teams working with scientists and decision makers. She has served as an invited member on committees including FEMA Emergency Management Institute’s Emergency Management (EMI) Higher Education Task Force, International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) Climate Change, Water, and Weather Committee, and the North American Alliance of Hazards and Disaster Research Institutes’ (NAAHDRI) Justice, Equity and Future Leadership Committee. 

Yalda is a Fellow of the AMS. As an AMS member for 30 years, she has served as the chair and member of the Board on Women and Minorities (now known as BRAID), chair and member of the History of Meteorology Committee, member of the Centennial Committee, AMS Teaching Excellence Award Committee, Board on Best Practices (served as lead author for the statement on Data Stewardship), Louis J. Battan Authors Award Committee, Cleveland Abbe Ad-hoc Committee, Charles Anderson Award Committee, and co-organizer of several AMS conferences and short courses. 

Yalda is an official consultant for the United Nations and in this capacity has offered workshops internationally for the Education for Justice Initiative. Yalda has served on a number of UCAR committees including PACUR, Members Nominating, Governance Task Group and as chair of the Unidata Strategic Advisory Committee and chair of the COMET Advisory Panel. 

Yalda has a Ph.D. in atmospheric science from Saint Louis University (’97).