Joanna was the founding Director of Financial Sector Deepening Zambia, a market systems development program aimed at increasing financial inclusion in Zambia. Prior to moving to Zambia in 2013, she was Director Access to Finance for the Aga Khan Foundation based in Geneva responsible for twelve country programs in Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia. From 2001-2005, she served as Deputy Director on a USAID-funded project in Uganda to increase access to financial services, create and expand agricultural enterprises, and strengthen legal and regulatory frameworks; and from 1999 to 2001 on a small enterprise finance and rural bank strengthening project in the Philippines. Since leaving Zambia in 2017, she has been advising the Gates Foundation, the Commonwealth Development Corporation of the UK and other notable organizations.
Joanna has served on Boards/committees in the UK, US, Australia, Rwanda and Zambia. She has written numerous papers and books published by the World Bank including the Microfinance Handbook (1998) and Transforming MFIs (2003). Her latest book, The New Microfinance Handbook (2013) provides a detailed guide to making financial markets work for the poor, and by the end of 2019, it had been downloaded over 340,000 times making her the World Bank’s most popular author.