Joanne Irvine

Joanne Irvine
Job title
Head MSD, a.i. & Programme Manager, M4SD
Main areas of work

Joanne Irvine specialises in migration governance and sustainable development in the Migration and Sustainable Development team of IOM Headquarters. Joanne has over 12 years of experience working with and supporting local and national governments, civil society and UN organisations globally to maximise the development potential of migration in support of the 2030 Agenda. She now manages the IOM-UNDP Global Joint Programme on Making Migration Work for Sustainable Development which is working in 11 countries to showcase how mainstreaming migration into national and local policies contributes to local development results through the roll out of concrete initiatives led by cities, local and regional authorities. Joanne is also part of the inter-departmental team within IOM working to enhance the role and positioning of cities and local and regional authorities, as key migration governance actors for local development, including supporting IOM’s participation as a partner in the Mayors’ Mechanism of the GFMD. She is currently acting head of the MSD team.

Previous experience

Prior to that, Joanne worked with IOM for the implementation and monitoring of migration and development programmes in Tunisia and Egypt, while also lending her expertise to programme coordination, project development and research. Beyond her experience with international organizations, Joanne has worked with various civil society organizations and the Provincial Government of Barcelona in Spain. She started out as a course coordinator and tutor for a Human Rights Institute, provided labour insertion support to refugees and asylum seekers and supported decentralized cooperation of local and regional authorities including in the area of migration governance. 

She holds a five-year joint undergraduate and master of arts in Hispanic Studies and French from the University of Glasgow, a MA in European Policy and International Development Cooperation from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, a master in Migration, Co-Development and Public Participation from the Cultural and Social Studies Foundation of Valencia and a diploma in Human Rights and Forced Migration from the United Nations University of Peace. She is fluent in English, Spanish, French, Italian and Catalan.

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