Kenneth W. Harding is the National Weather Service (NWS) Chief Operating Officer. Prior to joining NWS headquarters in Silver Spring, MD, he was the NWS Central Region Director in Kansas City, MO since 2020. Mr. Harding started his career as a weather officer in the Air Force and had tours of duty at McChord Air Force Base in Washington and Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska. Most of his military career was spent supporting the air defense mission of NORAD. He also led the Department of Defense NEXRAD deployment and training effort in Alaska and was deployed to Korea and Guam. Mr. Harding came to NWS as a general forecaster in the Air Route Traffic Control Center/ Center Weather Service Unit in Anchorage, AK, in 1995. He was selected as the Science and Operations Officer at Weather Forecast Office (WFO) Aberdeen, SD in August of 1996 where he led the spin-up of the new WFO. He was selected as Meteorologist-in-Charge (MIC) at WFO Topeka, KS in June of 2006 where he was instrumental in the introduction of new tornado warning text to convey impacts expected. Mr. Harding served as the MIC of WFO Des Moines, IA beginning in June 2014. He then moved to Central Region HQ as Chief Program Officer in June 2016 and became Central Region Deputy Director in May 2017. Mr. Harding received his Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from Iowa State University in May 1986 and his Master’s degree in Atmospheric Science from Colorado State University in August of 1991. Mr. Harding is a native of Rembrandt, Iowa, and has one adult daughter.
Ex-Officio Board Members
Chief Operating Officer, National Weather Service