Dr. William Burnett is the Deputy Commander and Technical Director to the Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command/ Task Group 80.7. In this role, he shares operational responsibility for a fleet of six survey ships, over 2,000 civilian and military personnel and a budget over $300 Million. Dr. Burnett also serves as a Computational Technology Area Leader in Climate, Weather and Ocean for the Department of Defense’s High Performance Computing Modernization Office.
Prior to being promoted to the Senior Executive Service in January 2012, Dr. Burnett worked at the National Data Buoy Center, recognized as a world leader in providing operational, real-time marine observations by being named the world’s first Regional Marine Instrumentation Center. Dr. Burnett also served on the International Tsunami Commission and as the U.S. National Representative to the World Meteorological Organization’s and Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission’s Data Buoy Cooperation Panel.
Before joining the National Weather Service in 2004, Dr. Burnett was the Plans and Programs Division Head at the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command. In 1992, he joined the staff of the Naval European Meteorology and Oceanography Center in Rota, Spain, and served as the Oceanographic Services Officer where he developed a new data exchange system that provided products and observations to the Fleet during Operation Provide Promise/Deny Flight. Dr. Burnett joined the Naval Oceanographic Office in 1988 as a meteorologist at the Operational Oceanography Center. Dr. Burnett began his career in 1985 as a physical science aide and storm chaser with the Storm Electricity Group at the National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Okla.
He received a bachelor’s of science in meteorology from the University of Oklahoma in 1988. He received masters and doctoral degrees in marine science from the University of Southern Mississippi. Dr. Burnett has authored many articles on Naval Oceanography and was the lead author of the environmental section for two Department of Defense studies focused on high performance computing and numerical prediction of optical turbulence for weapons systems. He serves as a media spokesman and has provided numerous interviews to media outlets such as the Discovery Channel, CNN, and NPR.