National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Ian Forecast to be a Major Hurricane Entering the Gulf of Mexico; Threats to Florida

There is a risk that Ian will bring dangerous storm surge, hurricane-force winds, and heavy rainfall along the west coast of Florida and the Florida Panhandle by the middle of this week. Flash and urban flooding is possible with rainfall across the Florida Keys and the Florida peninsula through the middle of the week. Residents in Florida should ensure they have their hurricane plan in place. Read More >

Katie Garrett

The Office of the Chief of Staff (OCoS) provides support to the Assistant Administrator for Weather Services (AA) and Deputy Assistant Administrator (DAA) through the development, integration and implementation of policies, strategies, programs, and procedures. This includes advising the AA and DAA on all corporate decisions, both tactical and strategic, to support the efficient and effective execution of the agency’s mission. OCoS staff record and track all actions which require AA or DAA approval, and ensure actions assigned by the AA and DAA are comprehensive, well-coordinated, comply with policy, are completed on time, and meet high professional standards. OCoS manages calendars, travel logistics, meeting times and dates, meeting locations, and proper coordination within NWS, across NOAA, and with external partners, for the AA and DAA. OCoS staff also mentor and train the NOAA Program Coordination Officer, a critical part of the internal communication and coordination between NWS HQ and NOAA HQ. As needed, OCoS staff accompanies the AA and/or DAA, and/or represents the AA and/or DAA, at internal and external meetings. OCoS helps coordinate communication and negotiations with the National Weather Service Employees Organization (NWSEO). OCoS staff is responsible for providing direction and guidance to the Congressional Affairs Division and the Communications Division. This includes drafting, editing, and coordinating internal and external communications including any official NWS communication with NOAA, the Department, Congress, and the Executive Office of the President. OCoS staff is also responsible for providing oversight, direction and guidance to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Management.

+Congressional Affairs Division

+Communications Division

Chris Vaccaro


The Communications Division provides comprehensive and proactive strategic and tactical communications, including the development and coordination of communication policies, strategies and activities. The Division advises senior management, develops NWS-wide strategic communication objectives and provides guidance and strategies on all communication issues including complex and politically sensitive aspects of the agency's programs, policies or positions to program offices, regional offices, national centers and WFOs to engage partners and stakeholders. The Division builds and fosters relationships with external constituency groups, including the Weather, Water and Climate Enterprise, other Federal agencies, and state, local, tribal and territorial offices/officials. The Division creates awareness and preparedness materials for field and headquarters personnel to support outreach and education efforts to better prepare emergency management officials, the public and other stakeholders to respond to weather and water events. The Division ensures all outreach and educational materials are consistent and thorough when communicating the programs, services and priorities of the agency to enhance the understanding of, and support for, the NWS mission. The Division determines a strategic approach, standards and guidelines, and ensures consistency in the development and dissemination of NWS digital content and social media messages and NWS web content, and provides guidance regarding the use of emerging communications technologies, and complies with Department of Commerce and NOAA policies. The Division collaborates with the Communication Offices across all NOAA lines and in coordination with NOAA Communications and NOAA Legislative Affairs. Internal Communications includes “executive affairs” responsibilities that assign, track, and archive NWS senior management correspondence and actions including quality control for content and consistency. The staff serves as NWS’ liaison for records management functions, including Memorandums of Agreements, Understanding, and Interagency Agreements.

+Equal Opportunity and Diversity Management Division (EODMD)

Patricia "Pat" Brown (Acting)

The Equal Opportunity and Diversity Management Division (EODMD) cultivates a diverse workforce that mirrors the communities served by NWS, and promotes an environment of inclusion that maximizes employee engagement and productivity. EODMD ensures that Department of Commerce and NOAA diversity and inclusion priorities are reflected in NWS policies, and implemented in a consistent manner across NWS' uniquely distributed organization. The office consists of three federally mandated programs-the Federal Women's Program, the Hispanic Program and the Persons with Targeted Disabilities (PWTD) Program. Each of these programs is governed by Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act which prohibits illegal discrimination based on race, sex, color, religion, genetic information, national origin, sexual orientation and disability.

EODMD collaborates with the Office of Communications to ensure the Agency's Equal Opportunity and Diversity messaging accurately reflects the sentiments of Agency leadership. EODMD also assists the Workforce Management Office (WFMO) with their outreach to women, minorities and persons with targeted disabilities. EODMD provides guidance to the NWS Diversity Council, serves as advisors to the NOAA Diversity and Inclusion Management Council (DIMAC), in addition to providing EEO compliance training to supervisors' managers and employees across a geographically dispersed area.

EODMD conducts mandatory EEOC on-site Technical Assistance Visits (TAVs) in field offices in accordance with EEOC Management Directive MD 715 to ensure employees attend appropriate training and are aware of the diversity/equal rights opportunities, tools and support available to them. EODMD is an Agency asset available to employees and managers alike.