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  • Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from Otago University. 
  • NZ Diploma in Public Relations.
  • Finalist in the New Zealand Westpac Women in Business Awards.
  • Finalist in the Women of Influence Awards. 
  • Life Member of the Life Education Trust.

+64 21 522 142


Johanna (Jo) has some 20 years of experience in senior public relations and communications roles including Press Secretary for the former Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister the Rt Hon Don McKinnon. She managed the public relations for McKinnon’s campaign to become Commonwealth Secretary-General in 1999, media relations during the historic ‘Special Meeting on East Timor’ when New Zealand hosted APEC in Auckland during September 1999, and also throughout New Zealand’s involvement in the Bougainville Peace Process.  


She started her career at New Zealand Aluminium Smelters Ltd and has held senior communications and marketing roles for a number of major corporates – the New Zealand Tourism Board, The National Bank of New Zealand Limited and AMP/Ergo.


In 2004 Jo launched her consultancy Coughlan Communications with a client list that included a range of public and private sector organisations, including the Office of the Commonwealth Secretary-General, New Zealand Post, EECA, Ministry of Education, AJ Park and the high profile Trust.


In 2008, Jo co-founded Silvereye Communications and has subsequently worked with a wide range of public and private sector clients across diverse industries. In 2009 Silvereye was a finalist in the Best New Business category of the Her Business Awards Wellington Region and in 2018 a finalist in the Wellington Export Awards for service to exporters. In 2016 Jo was a finalist in the New Zealand Westpac Women in Business Awards.

Jo has held senior governance roles having served nine years as a Wellington City Councillor – six of those as Chair of the Economic portfolio. She was Chairperson of Wellington City Life Education Trust, a Board member of Positively Wellington Tourism and a National Board member and Deputy Chair of Life Education Trust New Zealand. In 2018 she joined the Board of the New Zealand Amateur Sports Association and was appointed an Independent Director of Dairy NZ Ltd.

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