Bill Proenza, Regional Director U.S. National Weather Service Southern Region
Bill Proenza, Regional Director
Bill Proenza is the Regional Director of the U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) Southern Region, headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. With 49 offices and 20 percent of the NWS workforce, the Southern Region encompasses approximately one quarter of the contiguous United States including Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida, as well as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The region is one of the most severe weather active areas in the world.
A meteorology graduate of Florida State University, Proenza began his career at the National Hurricane Center in Miami and as a flight meteorologist on "hurricane hunter" aircraft (1963-1967). During his lengthy career with the National Weather Service, he received numerous performance commendations and awards, including recognition from the NWS Employees' Organization as the NWS Manager of the Year for his collaborative leadership (1998).
Proenza has held a diverse array of field and leadership positions throughout the United States. His experience in the southern, northern and eastern portions of the nation has afforded him a unique familiarity with many types of weather threats such as winter storms to tropical cyclones, and tornadoes to tsunamis, flash floods to severe droughts including fire weather.
He also provided key leadership in the modernization, restructuring, and staffing of the National Weather Service as well as managing weather forecasting, severe weather warning and climate services. He was first assigned as Regional Director of the NWS Southern Region in 1998 and held that position through 2006.
He served as Director of the National Hurricane Center from January through August of 2007. During that time, he received an award from the scientists at NOAA's Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory for his satellite and hurricane research advocacy for the nation's hurricane warning program. Later that year, he also received the NWS Employee's Organization's national Kip Robinson Award for courageous leadership while at the National Hurricane Center. Since September 2007, he has served in the senior NOAA position of Regional Director for the National Weather Service Southern Region.
Proenza is a long standing member of the American Meteorological Society (AMS), the National Weather Association, and the International Association of Emergency Managers. In 2001, the AMS recognized him with its prestigious Francis W. Reichelderfer Award for outstanding environmental services to the nation. Two years later, he was named a "Fellow of the AMS" and in 2006, the AMS national membership elected him as a Councilor on the AMS leadership board.
In 2009, he received the annual Career Excellence Award from the International Association of Emergency Managers for outstanding and innovative support to the nation's emergency managers and first responders. The award also recognized his courageous leadership while at the National Hurricane Center.
Proenza is an internationally recognized meteorologist officially representing the U.S.A. Since 2005, he has led the United States delegations to the United Nations (UNESCO) meetings on tsunamis and the oceans which encompasses 35 nations and territories in the Americas. In 2007, Proenza also served as chairman of the World Meteorological Organization's (WMO) Hurricane Sub-Committee and currently serves as a senior member of the U.S. delegation to the full session of the United Nation's WMO Region IV.