Ayda Yurekli

Tobacco Control Economics Unit, World Health Organization

Dr. Ayda Yurekli is a Coordinator in the Tobacco Control Economics Unit at the World Health Organization (WHO). Dr. Yurekli joined the WHO Tobacco Free Initiative in 2004 as a Senior Economist. In 2009 she became Coordinator of the department's Tobacco Control Economics unit. Before joining the WHO, Dr. Yurekli was Programme Leader for Research for International Tobacco Control, an arm of the International Development Research Center in Ottawa Canada. She received her bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Marmara in Istanbul, Turkey, her master's degree in economics from California State Polytechnic University at Pomona and her doctorate in economics at Cornell University.

In 1996, Dr. Yurekli joined the Office of Smoking and Health at the Centre’s for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, as a post doctoral fellow, working closely with the states and providing technical help on the economics of tobacco control and the impact of increasing tobacco excise taxes on smuggling and states' revenues. In 1998, she joined the World Bank in Washington DC to work on the report, "Curbing the Epidemic: governments and the economics of tobacco control" and to disseminate to developing countries the evidence about the economics of tobacco control, as well as to help country researchers build their economic analysis capacity. During her tenure at WHO, she has provided economic advice and technical support to address governments' concerns surrounding the economic impacts of tobacco control measures. As Coordinator, Dr. Yurekli works closely with ministries of finance on economic and tax issues and provides technical support on tobacco tax systems.