Press Release No. 780
For use of the information media
Former WMO President Dr Roman Kintanar passes away
GENEVA, 9 MAY 2007 (WMO) – Dr Roman Kintanar, former President of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), world-renowned Filipino scientist and founding director of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) passed away Sunday, 6 May due to health complications from cancer. He was 77.
Following his appointment as 3rd Vice-President (ad-interim) of WMO in 1978, Dr Kintanar became President of the organization at the Eighth WMO Congress in 1979 for the next 4 years – the fifth individual to hold the position since the United Nations agency was established in 1951. In 1983, he won re-election for another 4-year term.
Dr Kintanar was awarded WMO’s International Meteorological Organization Prize in 1995 for his “outstanding contribution to the promotion of international cooperation in meteorology and related fields”.
He also served with great distinction as Pacific/WMO Coordinator of the ESCAP/WMO Typhoon Committee Secretariat and was one of the major instigators behind its creation in 1968. Years later he said: “The Typhoon Committee story is about the building of an institution that has now served its target clients for thirty years. It is a story about cooperation among nations to nurture and to accomplish a common objective. It is a success story that served as a model for other regions in the world to emulate.”
He was appointed as Director of PAGASA aged 29, the youngest individual ever to hold such a high position in Filipino government service. He remained in the post for 36 years before retiring in 1994.
Under his administration, PAGASA followed a systematic program of development and expansion of services, playing an increasingly important regional and international role and hosting a number of international and regional gatherings including the Seventh Session of the WMO's Commission for Atmospheric Sciences (CAS) in early 1978 as well as several annual sessions of the Typhoon Committee.
Born in Cebu City on 13 June, 1929, Dr Kintanar gained a Bachelor of Science in Physics at the University of the Philippines in 1951 before earning a PhD at the University of Texas. He was a prolific author, concentrating his efforts on climate change and disaster-preparedness.
In April 2007, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) cited him for his valuable contributions to the science of Meteorology and named Asteroid 6636 – which orbits the sun between Mars and Jupiter – after him.
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