The Met Office's Exeter office on a summer's day

Chief Executive

Corporate headshot of Met Office Chief Executive, Penny Endersby

Professor Penny Endersby CBE, FREng, Hon FInstP 

Professor Penny Endersby is an outstanding scientist, engineer and inspirational leader who has made significant contributions to the delivery of life-saving science and services in defence and security and weather and climate, both in the UK and internationally. She was appointed Chief Executive at the Met Office in 2018 and President of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) in 2023, the first woman to fill either role.

Penny grew up in London and studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge University with the help of scholarships from WISE and British Gas. Prior to joining the Met Office, she had a distinguished career at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), beginning as a graduate researcher in armour and ending as Director of Cyber and Information, and acting Chief Technical Officer. Penny was instrumental in building up Dstl’s capabilities in cyber and data science research and increasing their pipeline of innovative research and intellectual property.

She was awarded the 2021 Society Medal by the British Computer Society in recognition of her use of IT to benefit society, specifically through investment in the Met Office's supercomputer and data systems in support of weather and climate prediction. Penny is a visiting professor in the Electronics and Computer Science Faculty at Southampton University and an honorary professor of Physics and the Environment at the University of Exeter. She was made a CBE in the 2024 New Year's Honours.

Penny is chair of the Dartmoor National Park Steering Group, a place where she spends much of her free time. She is married to a teacher; they have two musical grown-up children. Penny is a keen naturalist and musician, and an active member of Exeter Cathedral, as their first Canon Scientist as well as a member of their voluntary choir.