Joanna MacLean is a fourth generation New Zealander from Dunedin. She’s traveled to more than three-quarters of the world’s 195 countries.

Joanna taught in her native country, New Zealand, the Solomon Islands, and England before beginning her International Red Cross career, spanning 28 years. From 2002-2005, she was Head of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ Delegation in Myanmar, and also worked in Africa and the Caribbean/Central America. In the Geneva HQ, she held a number of Department Head posts and was a leading figure in the Movement’s global events and campaigns over a period of 15 years from 1988-2002.

JOANNA MACLEAN, Photographer, Author, and Lecturer,

Now, as an independent consultant, she continues training and short-term assignments for the International Red Cross. In 2004, she co-founded La Luna Gallery in Chiang Mai, Thailand; the gallery exhibited Southeast Asian contemporary art from Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. From 2011-2016, she was co-owner/director of Colour Factory, operating shops in Chiang Mai, featuring the painted elephants of the internationally known Elephant Parade.

Her company is supportive of Elephant Conservation, organising numerous events to help raise awareness of elephant conservation; As a consultant to the Naka Foundation, which is dedicated to the conservation and wellbeing of elephants, Joanna lectures to schools, university students, and service groups in Thailand on elephant conservation issues. She is a founding member of the Asian Captive Elephant Working Group ACEWG, a group of regional elephant specialists, veterinarians, researchers and conservationists, working to create more awareness about the existing problems and the possible solutions, as well as providing recommendations to improve health care and management practices for captive elephants a cross Asia. She is also a board member of Skills for Life, a non-profit foundation which provides vocational training and job opportunities for underprivileged youth from indigenous Hill Tribes around Chiang Mai.

Joanna is a featured lecturer on various cruise ships and for other organizations interested in her vast accumulation of stories, of images, and her knowledge of cultures.

Her books, Two Eggs and a Lemon and Portraits of Myanmar have been published by Marrowstone Press and are available on and, and she is now working on a third book. Joanna lives in Chiang Mai, Thailand. 

For more information about Joanna’s photographs, books, and lectures,