Joanna C.R. Lacey, was born in London, UK and obtained her BA Honours Degree in European Studies, German and Italian at the University of Kent at Canterbury. Following a position as graduate trainee from 1987-1989 at Winsor and Newton Fine Art and Graphics in London, UK, she moved to Trieste, Italy, to join the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) project ICS - International Centre for Science and High Technology, where her duties included the reporting of Steering Committees in Trieste and at UNIDO HQ in Vienna; editing of scientific texts and conference proceedings; organization of international scientific activities and central planning and monitoring of the Centre’s activities. From 1998-1999, she worked at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, as Programme Assistant for the Theoretical Biology Programme, setting up a website, a lecture series, and grant applications. She joined UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) at TWAS, the academy of sciences for the developing world in 2000 to help set up the Secretariat of IAP (The global network of science academies). Her main responsibilities include the organization of Executive Committee Meetings and General Assemblies; processing release of statements on global issues; monitoring and assisting with the implementation of IAP programmes in close collaboration with national academies worldwide, and updating the IAP website. She has been involved since 2008 in the pilot venture with the World Economic Forum bringing young scientists nominated by IAP Members to the Forum's “Annual Meeting of the New Champions” in China each year.