MSU alum now heads the National Weather Service

Contact person: James Carskadon

Kenneth Graham (Photo courtesy of NOAA)

STARKVILLE, Mississippi.—Kenneth Graham, an alumnus of Mississippi State University, now heads the National Weather Service.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration today announced Graham’s appointment as Deputy Administrator of NOAA and 17th Director of the National Weather Service. [June 7], effective immediately. Since 2018, Graham has served as director of the National Hurricane Center. He graduated in 1994 from the Department of Geosciences at MSU, where he received his master’s degree.

“What an incredible honor to serve alongside the heroes of the National Weather Service whose excellence shines bright day after day,” Graham said in the NOAA announcement. “I thank [NOAA Administrator Rick] Spinrad for entrusting me with the incredible responsibility and privilege of leading this dedicated team at such an exciting and important time in our history. We will accomplish great things together by building on recent progress and prioritizing the support of our forecasters. I am excited to begin.

With field offices nationwide, NOAA’s National Weather Service “provides weather, water, and climate data, forecasts, warnings, and impact-based decision support services for the protection of life and property and the improvement of the national economy”.

From 2008 to 2018, Graham served as the lead meteorologist in the New Orleans/Baton Rouge office of the National Weather Service. His career with NOAA began in 1994, after working as a broadcast meteorologist at WCBI-TV in Columbus from 1992 to 1994. Prior to earning a graduate degree at MSU, Graham earned a Bachelor of Science degree in atmosphere of the University of Arizona.

MSU’s Department of Geosciences is nationally recognized for its excellence in broadcast meteorology, weather forecasting, severe weather research, hydrometeorology, artificial intelligence, weather modeling, and climate science. One in three of today’s on-air meteorologists have graduated from MSU’s nationally recognized meteorology program. The College of Arts and Sciences department is also a Center of Academic Excellence in Geospatial Science, designated by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.

MSU is the main university in Mississippi, available online at