4 November 2020
Assistant Director-General, Antimicrobial Resistance, World Health Organization
Professor Hanan H. Balkhy is the first appointed Assistant Director-General for the Antimicrobial Resistance Division (AMR) at the World Health Organization (WHO), which is a flagship program and has the mandate to lead the human health response to the emergence of antimicrobial resistance along with the relevant stakeholders.
Dr Balkhy is a Professor of Pediatric Infection Diseases with over two decades of experience in the field of infectious diseases and Infection Prevention and Control (IPC), a clinician and a researcher with over 150 publications. Prior to her appointment she was the Executive Director, Infection Prevention and Control, at the Ministry of National Guard (MNG) and the Director of the Gulf Cooperation Council Centre for Infection Control. She led the WHO Collaborating Centre for IPC and AMR in Saudi Arabia between 2009-2019. Dr Balkhy is also the first appointed chair for the Infectious Disease Research Unit at King Abdullah International Medical Research Center at King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. In this role, she developed and led a team of scientists with a focus on relevant infectious disease research, such as multidrug resistance pathogens and hospital acquired infections, as well as research on regional public health concerns including MERS- CoV, Salmonella and Brucellosis. She was the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Infection and Public Health from 2009-2019.
Dr Balkhy is a graduate of King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. She completed her pediatric residency at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, USA, from 1993-1996, followed by a pediatric infectious diseases fellowship from 1996-1999 at Cleveland Clinic Foundation and Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.
Dr Balkhy has served as an expert on many WHO committees including: the Review Committee on the Role of the International Health Regulations (2005) in the Ebola Outbreak and Response, the Advisory Group on Integrated Surveillance and Antimicrobial Resistance (AGISAR), the Strategic and Technical Advisory Group on Antimicrobial Resistance (STAG-AMR), and the International Health Regulations Review Committee (IHR-RC).