Joseph joined the ACLU in college and has been a continuous member for more than 20 years. He previously served on the board of trustees of the Nebraska and Missouri affiliates and on the ACLU national fundraising committee in the 1990s. Jospeh served as the board president of the Academic Freedom Coalition of Nebraska. He is a registered nurse, professor of religious studies and a multilingual anthropologist who is an expert on Southeast Asian immigrants in the United States. Joseph previously worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Malaysia in the Vietnamese refugee program. He is currently engaged in research on the Supreme Court and the Establishment Clause, considering the balance of freedom of religion and freedom from state interference in personal beliefs. A Kansas City native, Joseph currently resides in St. Louis, his home of 18 years.