Joana Custoias, a Portuguese national, completed her Law degree from the Nova University of Lisbon in Portugal in 2007, and her postgraduate degree in Business Law and Finance from Lisbon University Institute in 2010. She was admitted to the Portuguese Bar Association in 2011, and in the Council for Management and Discipline of Legal Practitioners of Timor-Leste in 2012.
Joana is an experienced international lawyer with more than 13 years providing legal and policy advice to a variety of emerging economies in the Asia-Pacific region and in Africa. Committed development professional, she spent more than 8 years in Timor-Leste managing law reforms and technical assistance implementation, in areas of governance, private sector and finance sector development. Before joining ADB as a counsel in January 2020, she was the Senior Project Manager of the World Bank Group, where she managed the implementation of an upgraded securities settlement infrastructure by the Bank of Papua New Guinea, to help develop its debt capital markets and enable access to long term funding.