Jo is a former Chief Executive of the Ministry for Women. One of the youngest Chief Executives ever appointed in the New Zealand Public Service, she has invested her time and energy in advancing the causes of the vulnerable in society, spearheading some of the most difficult issues of our time, including child abuse, child poverty, family violence, and vulnerable women.
Formerly the Deputy Children's Commissioner, and author of the Government's Green Paper on Vulnerable Children, she has a Doctorate in Public Policy and works internationally on advancing development in the Pacific as a director of Volunteer Service Abroad (VSA). She was a finalist in the New Zealand Women of Influence Awards.
She has a varied portfolio career which includes leading an NGO that works to improve literacy rates, directorships and consulting on policy, strategy and gender projects. Recent consulting assignments include facilitating sessions at the Women's Forum at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London in April.