National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce
Tyra Brown Harris

Location: Silver Spring, MD
Office of Dissemination
Job Title: Project Manager, NOAA Weather Radio Program

Educational Background:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Howard University
  • Master’s Degree in Human Services & Counseling from Regent University
  • Ph.D. Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Nova Southeastern University

Describe the career path that led you to your current job with the National Weather Service.

  • My federal government career began 14 years ago in the NWS. Over the years, I've been blessed with opportunities to work with incredibly supportive coworkers and managers who helped me grow professionally and in public service. In 2009, I began working in the NOAA Weather Radio (NWR) program office to promote severe weather safety and preparedness. Last year, I was selected to lead the stakeholder engagement for the Transformational Change of NWR and Mass Dissemination of Weather Information.

What do you do for the NWS?

  • I am leading the stakeholder engagement phase of the first Transformational Change project carried out by our agency. We are working with stakeholders across the weather enterprise to transform mass notification into a new integrated weather information dissemination service based upon user requirements and current/emerging technologies.

What was the most interesting, exciting, or impactful weather/water event you experienced while working for the NWS and why does it stand out?

  • I grew up in Oklahoma City but moved to the Washington D.C. area before the 1999 tornadoes. But the May 2013 tornado stands out for me because it was very close to my family and, at one point, I could not reach them. Later, my grandmother told me her NWR kept “going off.” This really connected my head and heart to the importance of the work we do and our ability to help individuals and families better prepare for weather emergencies.

What made you decide to pursue a career with the NWS?

  • It was quite serendipitous. When I received a temporary assignment to work at NOAA NWS way back in 2001, I had never even heard of NOAA. But there's such an immediate connection to the public value of the work we do that I jumped at the chance to apply for a permanent position and it has been one of the best decisions of my life.

What do you like most about working for the NWS?

  • There are lots of things! I do enjoy when people ask me where I work and after answering, "NWS", the responses are priceless. Whether someone begins to blame me for all the bad weather they recently experienced, or begins to declare their long-held passion for weather - it's in those moments that I love being part of an agency that means so much to individuals and impacts their daily lives. Personally, I really like my managers, coworkers and representing the NWS at public outreach events.

What advice do you have for someone interested in a career with the NWS?

What training or coursework would you recommend to someone interested in following your career path?