Susan K. Avery is President and Director, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). She came to Woods Hole from the faculty of the University of Colorado at Boulder (UCB), where she served in interim positions as Vice Chancellor for Research and Dean of the Graduate School, as well as Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. She was on the faculty at UCB for 26 years, most recently holding the academic rank of professor of electrical and computer engineering and Fellow in the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES). She also served as director of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at UCB from 1994 to 2004, where she facilitated interdisciplinary research spanning the geosciences and social sciences, established a Center for Science and Technology Policy Research, and a K-12 outreach program. Her research interests include atmospheric circulation and precipitation, the development of new radar techniques and instruments for observing the atmosphere, and the role of climate science in decision support. Avery is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and of the American Meteorological Society, for which she also served as president.
Dr. Avery’s current position and her background in atmospheric research enable her to promote the importance of understanding the Earth as a system connected by ocean, atmosphere, terrestrial, and human interactions. She communicates the importance of ocean observing systems, the role of the ocean in a changing climate, ecosystem approaches to understanding and managing multiple uses of the ocean, and the need to legally protect the scientific deliberative process.
Dr. Avery serves on national and international boards and committees, including the US Advisory Committee to the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission; the NRC Global Change Research Program Advisory Committee and the Board on Higher Education and Workforce; the NOAA Science Advisory Board; the Consortium of Ocean Leadership Board; and the Massachusetts Global Warming Solutions Act Implementation Advisory Committee. She is active in professional societies and serves on academic and research program review committees.