Photo of Dr. DaNa Carlis

EPIC celebrates the appointment of Dr. DaNa Carlis as the director of the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL)

Pictured above: DaNa with an “EPIC Godfather” mug gifted to him by the EPIC Team to celebrate his accomplishments and legacy as the inaugural EPIC program manager.

The EPIC Team was so excited to hear about Dr. DaNa Carlis’ appointment as the next director of the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL), which is headquartered in his home state of Oklahoma! 

When EPIC was established a few years ago, DaNa’s visionary leadership as EPIC’s founding program manager transformed the program from a nascent idea into a formalized program within a matter of months. From establishing the vision, mission, and goals of EPIC to finalizing the EPIC Strategic Plan with Congress, DaNa laid the foundations that underpin the program’s continued success. 

DaNa with members of the EPIC and WPO teams.
DaNa with members of the EPIC and WPO teams. From left to right: Krishna Kumar, Henrique Alves, John Ten Hoeve (WPO Deputy Director), Dorothy Koch (WPO Director), Leah Dubots, DaNa Carlis, Maoyi Huang. Not pictured: Jen Vogt

As he was establishing the program, DaNa focused on assembling the people that could make EPIC a reality. Within the Weather Program Office, DaNa established a team that “is absolutely fantastic in terms of professionalism, technical prowess, and their ability to think critically to support the vision of EPIC. The team worked so hard to establish the program under the watchful eye of NOAA leadership, and it really was astounding that we were able to establish the program with written documentation and multiple external community meetings over a two-year period.” Another achievement for DaNa was leading the acquisition of the EPIC contractor, Raytheon Intelligence and Space. The acquisition of this $45M contract was high-profile and had immense community interest, but the team was able to meet all deadlines and make an award to Raytheon without protest. 

The EPIC Team looks forward to working with DaNa and the rest of the NSSL Team as we continue to accelerate advances in our nation’s operational forecast modeling systems. “With DaNa leading NSSL, the future is bright for earth system science. From promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion to being the catalyst for new, exciting innovations, we have a world leader at the helm ready to unite our community for excellence,” said Maoyi Huang, the current EPIC Program Manager.