Joan Yang joined Pew in 2010 as a senior officer for International Environmental Policy. She coordinates Pew’s work at the United Nations with a focus on marine issues: preservation of biodiversity, ocean governance and sustainable use of marine species.
Before joining Pew, Yang was the deputy permanent representative with the Permanent Mission of Palau to the United Nations, where she represented that country in numerous international forums, negotiating on issues such as climate change and fisheries management. Previously, she was acting attorney general and assistant attorney general in Palau, where she investigated and prosecuted several high-profile environmental and criminal cases, including the first successful prosecution of a vessel for illegal shark finning. She was also a court attorney for the New York State Supreme Court and an assistant district attorney in Queens County, New York.
Yang holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and East Asian studies from Columbia University and a J.D. from Washington University School of Law.