Joan is a native Texan and grew up in Fort Worth. She did her graduate and undergraduate work at the University of Texas, Austin in economics, art history and business administration. She began her career in banking in Houston but later stepped into the non-profit world, joining the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, DC. As a Program Officer in the Museum Program, she oversaw funding for nationally significant education and exhibition programs. She has held numerous leadership positions in museums across the country. She managed a successful $25 million endowment campaign for the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and oversaw fundraising for the Autry Museum in Los Angeles. She is a former Director of the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena, CA, and the Bullock Texas State History Museum. She is currently Director of The Bryan Museum in Galveston and has a strong interest in museum education and public outreach.
- Board Member (2020–2023)