Joanna Drake

Joanna Drake

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Joanna Drake has been the Deputy Director-General of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Research and Innovation since October 2021. Her main responsibilities include managing the Horizon Europe Cancer Mission, synergies between Horizon Europe and other EU programmes, and as the Commission’s representative on the Group on Earth Observation.

Previously, she held the same position in the Commission’s Environment Directorate-General since 2016, and in this role was responsible notably for the coherence between anvironmental and other EU policies, with a view to mainstreaming the main pillars of the European Green Deal.

She also chaired a cross-cutting Task Force spear-heading strategic positions for the DG on the post-2020 Commission financial framework negotiations, Brexit co-ordination, the urban agenda and the future-proofing of the EU's environmental acquis.

By training, Joanna is a doctor of laws from the University of Malta, where she also lectured full time in the Department of European and Comparative Law. She acquired a post-graduate degree in Advanced European Legal Studies from the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium.

She held various legal and management posts in the private and public sector before joining the European Commission as head of the European Commission Representation in Malta in 2005. She also had a key role in the Malta-EU accession negotiations as member of the Malta-EU Steering and Action Committee.

Between 2010 and 2015 she was director for SME's and Entrepreneurship in the European Commission's Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs. During her tenure in DG GROW she also led the Commission's Task Force on The Collaborative Economy, New Business Models And SME's.