Home About Global Leadership Council Juanita Ryan
by Kirsty Cardy

Deputy Chief Executive at Ara Poutama

Dr Juanita Ryan

Deputy Chief Executive at Ara Poutama


Ko Moehau te Maunga

Ko Waihau te Awa

Ko Te Kapakapa te Moana

Ko Tainui te Waka

Ko Ngāti Maru, Ko Ngāti Airangi, Ko Ngāti Kotemana ngā Iwi

No Hauraki Ahau

Ko Juanita Ryan Toku Ingoa


In November 2020 Juanita was permanently appointed Deputy Chief Executive, Health Services of Ara Poutama.  She is responsible for the operational delivery (both internally and contractually) of health, mental health, addictions and disability services for people on remand, or sentence with the Department.  

Juanita joined Ara Poutama 12 years ago as a psychologist in the Waikato spending much of her time working at Waikeria Prison.  Other roles she has held include, Principal Psychologist, Director Programmes and Interventions and Chief Psychologist.   

Since commencing her present role in November 2019 she has worked to strengthen the leadership and service delivery within the Health Rōpu.  The Health Services team have a clear focus and vision to transform health services to support and enable Pae Ora and achieve equity of Health care for Māori health.  Four key priorities sit under this objective.  These priorities form the core of the work programme for the team:


  1. develop a Kaupapa Māori Health Service 
  2. develop a Health Services Governance Framework 
  3. develop a Health Services Outcomes Measurement Tool
  4. strengthen and expand mental health and addictions services


Juanita is particularly committed to working on social justice for Māori and greatly values the relationships Ara Poutama has formed with iwi and mana whenua in working towards a shared goal of significantly better outcomes for Māori. 

Guided by a Network of Global Leaders

Our Global Leadership Council

Our Global Leadership Council provides thought leadership from a diverse range of professional backgrounds and experience.

Louise Bradley

Former Chief Executive Officer, Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC)

Fran Silvestri

President and CEO, International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership (IIMHL)

Ashley de Silva

CEO of ReachOut Australia

Colin Seery

Chief Executive Officer at Lifeline Australia

Professor Chee Ng

Professor and Healthscope Chair of Psychiatry at The Melbourne Clinic

Jay Buckey

Professor of Medicine at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth

Graziella Thake

CEO of Optimisation Hub

Andrew Slater

CEO of Whakarongorau Aotearoa

Ed Mantler

Former Chief Executive Officer, Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC)

Nicholas Watters

Director of Access, Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC)

Mary O'Hagan

Executive Director Lived Experience, Department of Health, Victoria, Australia

Charles Curie

Principle and Founder, The Curie Group, LLC

Juanita Ryan

Deputy Chief Executive at Ara Poutama

Victoria Hornby

CEO, Mental Health Innovations, United Kingdom

Victoria Hornby

CEO, Mental Health Innovations, UK

International Phone and Text Helplines

Victoria is CEO of Mental Health Innovations, the charity behind SHOUT, the UK’s first 24/7 crisis text service. From 2011 to 2017, she was Director of Programmes at The Royal Foundation, building a portfolio of projects including the Invictus Games, Coach Core, United for Wildlife and Heads Together.