A medical doctor and doctor of community medicine and public health, Hande Harmanci worked as a professor of public health in Marmara University, Turkey prior to joining WHO in January 2005 for improving the quality of education in health institutions and coordinating the Health Leadership Services programme. In this capacity, she worked with 5 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa to strengthen their medical education. She joined the Global Influenza Program in 2007 as the Team Leader of the Information Management, Training and Pandemic Preparedness team. Under the H1N1 (2009) pandemic response structure of WHO, she was also appointed as the Team Leader for Societal and Individual Measures Functional Team. Since 2011, she is working in the Global Hepatitis Program as a medical officer responsible for policy, strategy, advocacy, country intelligence, planning and country technical support. Dr Harmanci is also the focal point for WHO Collaborating Centers on hepatitis.
Prior to joining WHO, she served as the Deputy Director of Health Services in Istanbul in 1994-2002. Her responsibilities included coordinating the primary level health care services for approximately 550,000 inhabitants for planning, coordinating and monitoring of immunization, disease surveillance and family planning services and in-service training of health personnel. She also served as a consultant for WHO, UNICEF, Turkish Medical Association, the Institute for Higher Education of Turkey, the Ministry of Health of Turkey, and various sectors of the industry especially for technical capacity building and system setting activities. Dr Harmanci enjoys making functional pottery as a hobby.