T R U S T E E
Chairperson of the Trust
Jo Coughlan has a successful career in business, governance, government, local government and the not- for- profit sectors.
Jo has held a range of senior communications, public relations and marketing roles in major corporates across global manufacturing, banking and finance and insurance brands.
Jo gained significant parliamentary and political experience as Press Secretary to Rt Hon Don McKinnon, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister.
With senior political and corporate experience, Jo established her consultancy Coughlan Communications in 2000 and then Silvereye Communications in 2007 to provide strategic communications and government relations advice to an extensive range of clients across New Zealand and globally.
She is also a Director and co-owner, along with Conor English, of Agribusiness New Zealand Limited specialising in exporting, investment and agricultural projects internationally.
With a growing business interest in China/NZ relations, Jo was invited to join the Prime Minister’s Delegation to China in 2013. The high level delegation reflected the importance of the NZ China relationship. In 2013 Jo was appointed co-chair of the inaugural New Zealand Chinese Language Week.
Jo’s governance roles have also included not for profit and local government. In addition to running her businesses, Jo served three terms as a Wellington City Councillor, from 2007 to 2016. For six years she led the City’s economic development strategy as Economic Portfolio Leader and Chair of the Economic Growth and Arts Committee. Jo stood for Mayor of Wellington in 2016 and a key emphasis and policy platform was around further developing key infrastructure for Wellington.
In 2016 Jo was honored with a Life Membership of the Life Education Trust for voluntary services. Jo Chaired the Wellington City Trust for ten years and was Deputy Chair of the National Board for six. Jo is married with six children.