Elbert W. Friday, Jr. is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Oklahoma. He is a Past President, Fellow, and Honorary Member of the AMS, and a Charter Member of the NWA. He has served as the Director of the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate at the National Academy of Sciences, the Director of NOAA Research, the Director and Deputy Director of the National Weather Service, and as US Permanent Representative to the World Meteorological Organization. He completed a 20-year career in the United States Air Force, retiring with rank of Colonel in 1981. He attended the University of Oklahoma, receiving his BS in Engineering Physics in 1961, an MS in Meteorology in 1967 and a PhD in Meteorology in 1969. He served at OU as the Weathernews Chair in Applied Meteorology.
He is the recipient of the Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Executive, the Federal Executive Institute Alumni Association’s Federal Executive of the Year for 1993, and the AMS’s Cleveland Abbe Award. His military awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal and the Air Force Commendation Medal.