Ms. Laura K. Furgione is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Deputy Assistant Administrator for Weather Services and the Deputy Director of the National Weather Service (NWS). She has served as the NWS Deputy since July 2010. In this role, she is responsible for the day-to-day civilian weather operations for the United States, its territories, adjacent waters and ocean areas.
Furgione was designated to serve as Permanent Representative of the United States of America to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in March 2013. In this role, she is charged by the Department of State to maintain the United States formal representation to the WMO. Through the WMO’s 191 Member States and Territories, she enables international cooperation and leadership essential for the development of weather, climate, hydrology, and related geophysical sciences. This contributes to the protection of life and property against natural disasters, safeguards the environment, and enhances the economic and social well-being of all sectors of society in areas such as food security, water resources and transport.
Previously, she served as Assistant Administrator for the NOAA Office of Program Planning and Integration. In this role, she was responsible for corporate management to coordinate the many lines of service of the $5 billion agency dedicated to understanding and predicting changes in the Earth's environment and conserving and managing coastal and marine resources. She was responsible for annual planning as well as long term strategic planning, performance evaluation, program integration through matrix management, and policy integration including compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act.
From October 2004 to August 2008, Furgione served as Director of NOAA's NWS Alaska Region. As Regional Director, Furgione was responsible for all operational and scientific climatological, meteorological, hydrological, volcanic ash and tsunami warning programs for the state of Alaska and its surrounding waters.
Other positions Furgione has held within the NWS include meteorological intern at the Kodiak, Alaska, Weather Service Office; intern at the Fairbanks, Alaska, Weather Forecast Office (WFO); aviation meteorologist at the Alaska Aviation Weather Unit; warning coordination meteorologist at WFO Morehead City, North Carolina; Meteorologist-in-Charge of WFO Juneau, Alaska; and Alaska Deputy Regional Director.
Furgione holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Atmospheric Science from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a Master of Public Administration Degree from the University of Alaska-Southeast. She was the proud recipient of two NOAA Administrator’s Awards in 2011 – one for NOAA’s Arctic Vision and Strategy and another for developing NOAA’s Strategy Execution and Evaluation system. Furgione is also a certified open water diver and a ham radio operator – KL0XG.