Joanne Balaam

Chief Executive Officer

Mrs Joanne Balaam joined Mercy Ships UK as Finance and Operations Director in 2016, before taking the helm as Chief Executive Officer in 2020.

Joanne has a strong background in strategic oversight and organisational change, and over 20 years’ experience working in both the profit and not-for-profit sectors.

Since joining Mercy Ships UK, Joanne has shown leadership in partnering with African nations to improve global access to safe, affordable and timely surgical care. She is inspired by the African proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

Her passion for delivering transformational impact motivates Joanne to lead Mercy Ships UK into a period of significant growth.

Joanne has invested significant time and resource into create a corporate partnership programme at Mercy Ships UK. This builds on the organisation’s existing maritime and shipping relationships, with the view to replicate this with the medical sector in the future.

Headshot of Joanne Balaam CEO of Mercy Ships UK

Whether she’s building relationships with external partners, or collaborating with Mercy Ships global offices, Joanne is committed to achieving excellent results.

Joanne has a track-record of building and leading high-performing teams, who are motivated by shared success. She loves directing the passionate, forward-thinking and innovative staff team at Mercy Ships UK. Her ultimate goal is to increase efficiency, so our office can raise more funds to support life-saving surgeries and medical training across sub-Saharan Africa.

“My favourite management quote is from Sir Richard Branson: ‘The way you treat your employees is the way they will treat your customers’. This has really stuck with me, and so I treat my direct reports, how I would like them to treat our amazing supporters.”