Joan is Interim Director of Arts and Engagement at Creative Scotland, the national agency for the arts, screen and creative industries. Previous posts include Head of Education for the Scottish Arts Council, education officer at the National Galleries of Scotland, education officer at Edinburgh Castle and education officer for heritage, visual and performing arts at Falkirk Council. She has also held positions in embassies in West Africa and the Middle East as well as a year in Mumbai and the Punjab. Joan is a graduate from Edinburgh University with an MA honours degree in history and has a Post Graduate Diploma in Education from Dundee University.
Her current remit includes a national strategic overview of creative learning, the national Creative Learning Plan, the development of the national youth arts strategy and the delivery of national programmes such as the Youth Music Initiative and CashBack for Creativity.
As well as being the former Chair of the ITAC Collaborative, Joan is also the current president of ACEnet, a network of European policy makers She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts and the Royal Geographical Society.
She has served on numerous boards and committees concerned with the arts, learning and young people including Young Scot, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, and the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Young People Committee. She is passionate about the value of the arts and creativity as part of fulfilled, healthier, happier individuals and communities.