The call to do justice is described by Joe as his life’s “vocation.” Joe grew up in Toronto, where he received his BA in Political Science, followed by an MA from the University of Regina. For seven years, Joe worked in Latin American refugee camps and served as a Country Director for Canadian Save the Children in Nicaragua. For over ten years, he worked with the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, where he developed policy and coordinated work in areas of social justice, missions, and Aboriginal peoples. He served as the founding vice-chair of KAIROS-Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives, and has been active in the Canadian Council of Churches’ Commission for Justice and Peace. He coordinated the Make Poverty History campaign, and engaged in research, public speaking and advocacy on national and international issues.
After engaging Canadian faith communities in speaking out on climate justice, in 2012 Joe was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for "exemplary service and commitment to the betterment of the community."
In June 2013, Joe was awarded a "Certificate of Honour" from Development and Peace for "commitment to the cause of social justice and efforts to improve living conditions for the poorest of the poor in the Global South."
Saint Paul University granted Joe the Eugène de Mazenod Medal in April, 2017. The Medal “honours individuals who have made a significant contribution to the development of human capital in their community.”
He has served as Executive Director at CPJ since August 2008.