Tanja Fransen
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A hard working mom of two, wife and federal supervisor who has a strong background in physical sciences, disasters and emergency management.

Specialty Areas
  • Government
Interested in:
  • Mentoring
  • Leadership Opportunities

Meteorology, Disasters, Climate, Communication, Leadership, Emergency Management, Science Education, Wildfires, Warning Dissemination Systems, Project Management, Diversity and Inclusion, Hydrology

More Information:

Leadership Experience

I’m one of only 8% of female supervisors for field offices in the National Weather Service (NWS).  I’ve been in this career for 24 years now, starting in college as an intern.   I also am serving a three year term on the council of the American Meteorological Society (AMS), a nearly 100 year old organization that represents over 13,000 scientists and students in the meteorology realm across the globe.

I’ve served as the Chair of the Montana Emergency Alert System Committee, Chair the the Glasgow, MT Levee Committee and Vice-Chair of the Valley County, MT Local Emergency Planning Committee.  I serve on the Montana Silver Jackets committee to improve hydrological coordination across agencies.  I’ve been invited to speak at the International Association of Emergency Management Annual Meetings, and organized special Presidential Town Halls on devastating hurricane events at the annual AMS meetings.

There have been numerous state, regional and national awards in my career.  These include the NOAA Administrator’s Award, the NWS Isaac Cline Award for Leadership, and the AMS Kenneth C Spengler Award for collaborations across the weather enterprise.  I was given a gold Turtle Pin by then Governor Judy Martz in 2003, and was called out as Montana’s “Hero for the Day” by US Senator Max Baucus during the record setting floods of 2011.   One of my favorite recognition’s is being the Weather Channels’ “Geek of the Week” on the WxGeeks program in 2015.   There are numerous other awards that are also shared with the amazing staff at the NWS Glasgow office and thanks to the many outstanding partnerships we’ve built with communities and counties across NE Montana.

As many probably experience, the awards are nice, but what makes me most happy career-wise is seeing the people I work with or mentor excel in their fields and career progressions.  I have been formally and informally mentoring people for at least a decade now.  I’m leading a committee that is about to make a mentoring program a reality for the AMS, and I have been involved with a NWS effort and pilot project for a few years now as well.

Lastly, diversity and inclusion are programs I love to champion.  The discrimination that still exists in society and in the workplace are something I want to help be part of the solution for.   About 10 years ago I started a women in science group for NWS employees who needed support and felt isolated as maybe the only female in the office, or one of few.  Too often they had no one to talk to.  That group has grown to include hundreds of NWS employees, male and female, and there is an annual trip that takes place to network and bond with one another.  The group is shattering old school paradigms and it’s one of the things I’ve done that I’m most proud of, and it was totally done without formality or bureaucracy.

Summary:  I’m a strong advocate for science, for people who are doing/wanting to do great things, for rural communities, and I can be a bit of a momma bear when my cubs need me to be. 🙂

How I Want to Participate in PowerHouse


Other Information