Dr. Wayne Higgins

P: (301) 734-1263
F: (301) 713-0517
E: wayne.higgins@noaa.gov

NOAA Climate Program Office
1315 East-West Hwy, SSMC-3, Rm 12124
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Dr. Wayne Higgins is currently the Director of Office of Oceanic Research, Climate Program Office (CPO). In his position he serves as the focal point for climate programs within NOAA, supporting one of NOAA's primary mission goals: to understand climate variability and change to enhance society's ability to plan and respond. Prior to his selection as CPO Director, Dr. Higgins was the acting Director of the National Weather Service, National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) in 2013 and the Director of NCEP’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC) from 2007-2013. Prior to that, he also served as the first Director of CPC’s Climate Test Bed for three years. He first joined CPC in 1994, starting as a research meteorologist and advancing to principal scientist.

Dr. Higgins research interests span climate variability and change, and weather - climate linkages (including extreme events), with emphasis on diagnostic evaluation of observations and models to improve climate prediction. He has published more than 80 peer-reviewed journal articles, five book chapters, 32 atlases and technical reports, and 165 conference proceedings.

Dr. Higgins received his PhD (1987) and Masters of Science (1983) degrees in Meteorology from the Pennsylvania State University and his Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from the University of Illinois - Champaign/Urbana (1980). He is currently serving as a NOAA Principal for the U.S. Global Change Research Program and as NOAA Lead for the Global Framework on Climate Services. He also currently serves on four NOAA Societal Challenge Project Executive Working Groups (Water, Extremes, Coasts, Marine Ecosystems), and on the Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites Executive Board.

He has served as Chair and Lead of the North American Monsoon Experiment from 1999-2007. In recent years he has also served as the chair of the World Climate Research Program Variability of the American Monsoons (VAMOS) Panel and member of the Climate Prediction Program for the Americas Science Panel. Dr. Higgins is also an advisor for the National Research Council Resident Research Associate Program and serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of MD and Florida State University.

Dr. Higgins was made a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society in 2009. He has received the Administrators Award, a Silver Medal and two Bronze Medals for his work at NOAA. He has spoken at more than 250 national and international conferences, society meetings, workshops and seminars, and at Washington, DC area business and academic gatherings.


Americans’ health, security and economic wellbeing are tied to climate and weather. Every day, we see communities grappling with environmental challenges due to unusual or extreme events related to climate and weather. 


1315 East-West Highway Suite 100
Silver Spring, MD 20910