Ms. Laura K. Furgione leads the Census Bureau Office of Strategic Planning, Innovation and Collaboration. This allows her to work across the Census Bureau to further develop and mature the organization's capacity to innovate and implement new ways of providing the nation with critical demographic and economic information.
Furgione had a distinguished career at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) from 1993 to 2016. She served as the NOAA Deputy Assistant Administrator for Weather Services and the Deputy Director of the National Weather Service (NWS) from 2010 to 2016. In this role, she was responsible for the day-to-day civilian weather operations for the United States, its territories, adjacent waters and ocean areas. In 2013 she was designated to serve as Permanent Representative (PR) of the US to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). As the US PR, she was charged by the Department of State to maintain the US formal representation to the WMO. Through the WMO’s 191 Member States and Territories, she enabled international cooperation and leadership essential for the development of weather, climate, hydrology, and related geophysical sciences. This contributes to the protection of life and property against natural disasters, safeguards the environment, and enhances the economic and social well-being of all sectors of society in areas such as food security, water resources, and transport.
In 2008 to 2010, she served as Assistant Administrator for the NOAA Office of Program Planning and Integration. In this role, she was responsible for corporate management to coordinate the many lines of service of the $5 billion agency dedicated to understanding and predicting changes in the Earth's environment and conserving and managing coastal and marine resources. She was responsible for annual planning, strategic planning, performance evaluation, program integration through matrix management, and policy integration including compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act.
Furgione served fifteen years of her career in Alaska. From 2004 to 2008 she was the Director of NOAA's NWS Alaska Region. As Regional Director, Furgione was responsible for all operational and scientific climatological, meteorological, hydrological, volcanic ash and tsunami warning programs for the state of Alaska and its surrounding waters. Other positions Furgione has held within the NWS include meteorological intern at the Kodiak, Alaska, Weather Service Office; intern at the Fairbanks, Alaska, Weather Forecast Office (WFO); aviation meteorologist at the Alaska Aviation Weather Unit; warning coordination meteorologist at WFO Morehead City, North Carolina; Meteorologist-in-Charge of WFO Juneau, Alaska; and Alaska Deputy Regional Director.
Furgione holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Atmospheric Science from the University of Missouri-Columbia, a Master of Public Administration Degree from the University of Alaska-Southeast, and is a certified Project Management Professional.