Dr Joanna Nurse

Appointed as Head of Health and Education for the Commonwealth Secretariat in 2015, Joanna brings substantial experience to enable national policy strengthening for social development across the 53 Commonwealth Countries.  From 2005- 2014, Joanna was employed by the Department of Health, England and covered a number of policy areas at regional and national levels. During this time Joanna developed multi-sector policies across the life-course in order to promote wider well-being and was the national lead for Public Mental Health and Well-Being. Additionally, Joanna was responsible for national heat and cold weather policy and plans, before undertaking a 3-year placement at WHO Europe, initially, on climate change and sustainability and then on system strengthening, leading on the delivery of the European Action Plan for Public Health. More recently, Joanna has advanced the development of a Global Public Health Charter as part of the World Federation of Public Health Associations.

Joanna qualified in medicine in the UK, trained and practised initially as a General Practitioner, before specialising in Public Health in 1998. Over her career, Joanna has gained experience at local, regional, national and international levels, including on: community development, inequalities, health promotion, injury prevention, disabilities, housing and fuel poverty, sexual health, emergency planning, environmental health, sustainable development and climate change. Across her career Joanna has gained international experience working in India, Latin America, Europe and Central Asia, and in 2003 was seconded to WHO HQ in Geneva to work globally on gender and violence prevention.