William Hanna was born in Belfast and began his
education at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution.

After attending the University of Edinburgh in Scotland,
he graduated as Master of Arts in French and European
Law in 1977.

He continued his studies at the University of Limoges, France and the College of Europe in Belgium, William Hanna joined the Irish Foreign Service in Dublin in 1978 and was posted 1980 to Brussels to the Irish Permanent Representation to the EU, where he became involved in the EU’s external and development policy.

In 1983 he joined the European Commission, working in the Directorate-General for Development. Between 1987 and 1994 he was posted as Economic Adviser in European Delegations in the Caribbean and Cameroon.

From 1994 to 2000, he served as Head of Unit for H.R. and later Head of Division for West Africa.
From 2000 – 2004 he was Ambassador and Head of Delegation in Tanzania.
From 2004-2008 he served as Ambassador in Uruguay and Paraguay.

Back in Brussels from 2008 to 2010 he dealt with Regional Cooperation in Asia.
He was appointed Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the EU to Bangladesh in November 2010 until 2014.

Currently William Hanna serves at the Ambassador for The European Union in Ghana.