Dr Bettina Menne is currently the coordinator of the healthy settings program in the WHO Venice office for investment for health and development. This includes the coordination of the small county initiative (SCI) and the Regions for Health (RHN). During 2020 she was repurposed as WHO representative to Albania, leading the COVID 19 response.
From 2016 to 2020, she coordinated the Health and Sustainable Development Program, of the WHO Regional Office for Europe. The main achievement was the Roadmap to implement Agenda 2030 in European countries, endorsed at the 67th session of the Regional Committee, as well as direct technical, political and scientific input on the health aspects of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, to WHO European Member States, programs and Divisions as well as coordinated the UN issue-based coalition on health and well-being.
From 1997 to 2016, she coordinated the activities on climate change and health and environmentally sustainable health services, focusing on increasing health system resilience to climate change (adaptation), addressing extreme weather events and infectious disease risks, tracking and promoting health benefits of green house gas reduction and developing methods and tools for sustainable health care. In that function, she and her teams provided the technical and strategic input into the series of European Environment and Health Ministerial Conferences and the WHO European regional framework for action on climate change and health. During this time she developed a range of scientific reviews and innovative tools: she was the convening lead author and author of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning 4th Assessment Report of the IPCC; developed and implemented the first EC-funded project on climate change and health (cCASHh), coordinated the post 2003 heat-wave health protection developments in Europe (EuroHEAT) which led to heatwave forecasting and health measures information to EU and Balkan countries, every spring, since 2007, and provided the secretariat to the health and climate change working group of European Member States, since 2007. She and her team have been part of several award-winning epidemiological studies.
Before joining WHO, she worked at the University of Perugia (Italy), and was engaged in a range of development projects, funded by UNICEF, UNOPS, or the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the prevention of communicable diseases in Albania (1996 – 1997), Italy, Mali (1993-1994), and Nicaragua (1991).
Dr Menne is German by nationality, has two children, and is a medical doctor and medical specialist in hygiene and public health, graduated in Perugia, Italy.