Jamese Sims, an accomplished atmospheric scientist with extensive U.S. government program management experience, is joining Mississippi State as deputy director of the university's Northern Gulf Institute and strategic advisor for federal partnerships.
In the new role, Sims oversees the execution of large projects and builds interdisciplinary teams within NGI while working closely with senior university leadership on strategic opportunities related to the missions of MSU and NGI. Sims joins MSU from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, where she most recently served as director of the modeling program and senior science advisor for artificial intelligence within the National Weather Service's Office of Science and Technology Integration.
Based at MSU, NGI is a NOAA Cooperative Institute that develops, operates and maintains an increasingly integrated research and transition program in the Gulf of Mexico, the results of which raise awareness and understanding of the Gulf region.
"Dr. Sims is a leader in atmospheric modeling and artificial intelligence with a demonstrated track record of conceptualizing and implementing large-scale programs in support of key scientific and agency needs," said MSU Vice President for Research and Economic Development Julie Jordan. "Her skills are a great complement to the goals of NGI and the university, both of which have a long history of advancing atmospheric and geosystems research through new and emerging technologies, as well as building strong coalitions to foster collaboration, education and outreach activities."
Sims is a graduate of Jackson State University, where she earned a bachelor's degree in meteorology, and Howard University, where she earned a doctorate in atmospheric sciences. She began working as a meteorologist and scientist for the federal government in 2004, working to improve weather prediction through high performance computing-based models. During her career at the National Weather Service and NOAA, Sims has led units and projects focused on artificial intelligence, numerical weather prediction, remote sensing, and satellite meteorology, among other areas. She has served as a satellite product manager and algorithm engineering lead on NOAA's GOES-R series satellites and represented the project and the agency in a wide range of public programs.
"I am excited to return to Mississippi with the opportunity to champion and build upon the science and technology mission and goals of Mississippi State University," Sims said. "The MSU Office of Research and Economic Development and the Northern Gulf Institute lead atmospheric and oceanographic research and provide environmental data using advanced technology that strengthens our understanding of severe weather, climate variability and coastal hazards. I am honored to be part of a team that is driving innovation, preparing students for the workforce, and empowering the resiliency of all communities, including vulnerable and underserved communities, to prepare, respond and recover from natural hazards."
In 2020, Sims was recognized with NOAA's Silver Sherman award for coordinating across the agency to complete its AI strategy and AI Strategic Implementation Plans, as well as establishing the NOAA Science and Technology Synergy Committee to coordinate the strategic planning of NOAA's six emerging science and technology focus areas including: Artificial Intelligence, 'Omics (Genomics), Uncrewed (Autonomous) Systems, Cloud Computing, Data, and Citizen Science. She also received the Professional Achievement in Government Award from Women of Color STEM Magazine in 2019, among other honors.
"I very much appreciate Dr. Jordan discovering Dr. Sims' interest in returning to Mississippi," said NGI Director Robert Moorhead. "When I asked leaders at NOAA about Dr. Sims, they indicated she was someone they would definitely want on their team. She is well-respected for her program and project management. I look forward to working closely with Dr. Sims."
The mission of NGI is to improve ecosystem management for the Gulf of Mexico with research that builds an integrated, comprehensive understanding of natural and human impacts on Gulf of Mexico ecosystems and economies. Last year, NOAA awarded up to $86 million over five years to continue NGI's strategic research efforts. In addition to MSU and NOAA, the collaboration includes the University of Southern Mississippi, Louisiana State University, Florida State University, Alabama's Dauphin Island Sea Lab, the University of Alabama in Huntsville, as well as NOAA scientists located at various laboratories and operational centers in the Gulf of Mexico region.