Joanne Irvine

Joanne Irvine
Job title
MSD Leader, a.i. and Program Director, M4SD
Main areas of work

Joanne Irvine specializes in migration governance and sustainable development in the Migration and Sustainable Development team at IOM Headquarters. Joanne has over 12 years of experience collaborating with and supporting local and national governments, civil society and UN organizations globally to maximize the development potential of migration in support of the 2030 Agenda. She now manages the joint IOM-UNDP Global Program on Migration for Sustainable Development, which works in 11 countries to show how integrating migration into national and local policies contributes to local development outcomes through the deployment of concrete initiatives led by cities and local and regional authorities. Joanne is also part of IOM's interdepartmental team working to strengthen the role and positioning of cities and local and regional authorities as key actors in migration governance for local development, including supporting IOM's participation as a partner in the GFMD Mayors' Mechanism. She is currently the acting head of the MSD team.

Previous experience

Prior to this, Joanne worked with IOM on the implementation and monitoring of migration and development programs in Tunisia and Egypt, while providing expertise in program coordination, project development and research. In addition to her experience with international organizations, Joanne has worked with various civil society organizations and the provincial government of Barcelona, Spain. She started as a course coordinator and tutor for a human rights institute, provided job placement assistance to refugees and asylum seekers, and supported decentralized cooperation of local and regional authorities, especially in the field of migration governance. 

She holds a BA and MA in Hispanic Studies and French from the University of Glasgow, an MA in European Politics and International Development Cooperation from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, an MA in Migration, Co-development and Public Participation from the Foundation for Cultural and Social Studies of Valencia, and a Diploma in Human Rights and Forced Migration from the United Nations University for Peace. She is fluent in English, Spanish, French, Italian and Catalan.

Thematic interests
  • Migration and the 2030 Agenda
  • Policy coherence on migration and sustainable development
  • Strengthening cities and other local actors for sustainable local and urban development
  • Fighting racism and xenophobia and promoting social cohesion
  • Diaspora engagement for sustainable development
  • Migration, environment and climate change
  • Gender inequalities and women on the move