NOAA has selected Mike Brennan, Ph.D., to serve as the next director of NOAA’s National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami, as preparations continue ahead of the 2023 hurricane season.
“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,” said Rick Spinrad, Ph.D., NOAA Administrator. “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 U.S. communities.”
Brennan has spent nearly all of his 15-year NOAA career at NHC, and for the past year has served as the acting NHC Deputy Director. 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 U.S. landfalling hurricanes — including eight major hurricanes — and more than 20 U.S. tropical storm landfalls.
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 in Meteorology, and a Masters and Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science, all from North Carolina State University.
“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,” said Ken Graham, director of NOAA’s National Weather Service. “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.”
“I am honored and humbled to work with the talented staff at the National Hurricane Center 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,” said Brennan. “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 National Hurricane Center since that time and will resume his duties as the center’s deputy director.
“I would like to thank Jamie Rhome for his steady leadership as the acting NHC director through 14 named storms of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, including the newly retired hurricanes Ian and Fiona,” added Graham.
Within the U.S. Department of Commerce, the National Hurricane Center is a division of NOAA and the National Weather Service’s National Centers for Environmental Prediction. The Center’s mission is to save lives, mitigate property loss, and improve economic efficiency by issuing the best watches, warnings, forecasts and analyses of hazardous tropical weather and by increasing understanding of these hazards, enabling communities to be safe from tropical weather threats. The National Hurricane Center is co-located with the National Weather Service Miami-South Florida forecast office on the campus of Florida International University.