Contact: Greg Romano

NOAA News Releases 2004
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Brigadier General David L. Johnson, U.S. Air Force (Ret.), director of NOAA's National Weather Service is proud to announce the appointment of Laura Furgione as director of the NWS Alaska Region. In this position, she will oversee the region’s weather, hydrology, and tsunami programs and numerous forecast facilities throughout the state. NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

“Alaska is a state with significant environmental challenges,” said Johnson. “Ms. Furgione is charged with providing timely, accurate, and focused environmental information to protect our citizen's lives, protect property, and enhance the economy. She has a tremendous responsibility - I'm certain she is up to the challenge.”

After graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1993 with a degree in atmospheric science, Furgione moved quickly through the ranks of the NWS. Her career has taken her from the Pacific Region, to the Alaska Region, to the Eastern Region and back to Alaska. When she moved from Alaska to Morehead City, N.C., she wanted the opportunity to network with other regions and customers. The networking was automatic for her but she was also able to experience working with every kind of weather –tornadoes, thunderstorms, hurricanes, snow, and floods. Today she is the youngest regional director ever appointed in the NWS.

Gary Hufford, regional scientist for the Alaska Region, believes Furgione’s diverse background has given her the experience and perspective she needs to accomplish the weather service mission. “Laura exemplifies the new generation of young people coming into the National Weather Service and moving the organization forward,” Hufford said.

Furgione’s plans for Alaska and the NWS are simple. She intends to keep people abreast of the unique challenges the Alaska Region brings to the weather service. She adds that we can always improve our relationships with customers and partner agencies.

“We need to strategically work with our customers and collaboratively determine how their needs may change,” Furgione says. “It is now 2004; by 2014 everything will be different.”

NOAA’s National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories. NOAA’s National Weather Service operates the most advanced weather and flood warning and forecast system in the world, helping to protect lives and property and enhance the national economy.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather- and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of the Nation’s coastal and marine resources.

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