Hanna Hakulinen appointed director of VERIFIN

Research Director Hanna Hakulinen, PhD, has been appointed director of VERIFIN for the five-year period starting on 1 January 2024.


Hanna Hakulinen will take over the post as director of VERIFIN (The Finnish Institute for Verification of the Chemical Weapons Convention) on 1 January 2024 after the present director, Paula Vanninen.

The duties of the director of VERIFIN include leading and overseeing research, training activities, and official duties, as well as taking charge of developing the institute and implementing the university’s strategy within the institute.

“I’ve always wanted a job that makes a difference. This I have accomplished through my efforts in improving air quality and my current focus is on the work with the ultimate goal of a world free of chemical weapons,” says Hanna Hakulinen.

Hanna Hakulinen has a PhD in physical chemistry, and she did her doctoral research at University of California Irvine with Professor Benny Gerber and Professor Sergey Nizkorodov. She defended her thesis on photochemical reactions in the atmosphere in Helsinki in January 2014. Her supervisor in Helsinki was Professor Markku Räsänen. During her doctoral research, she was also a visiting graduate student at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, studying composition of interstellar ices.

Hakulinen continued her career in the field of atmosphere sciences as a postdoctoral researcher in the group of Professor John Seinfeld at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

After her postdoctoral period, she transferred to the South Coast Air Quality Management District, an agency dedicated to monitoring air quality and control pollutants in Southern California.

After returning to Finland in October 2017, she started working at VERIFIN, first as the laboratory manager of the gas chromatography-mass spectrometry laboratory, and since February 2021 as research director. 

Contact information:

VERIFIN is a unit under the Department of Chemistry at the Faculty of Science at the University of Helsinki. VERIFIN was established in 1994, as continuation of the Chemical Weapons (CW) research project working since 1973. VERIFIN is the Finnish National Authority as defined by the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and carries out national authority tasks assigned by The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland (MFA). VERIFIN supports the disarmament of chemical weapons by development of identification methods for chemical warfare agents (CWA), providing training for chemists in developing countries, and performing research on the field.