Skip to navigation Skip to content

New board members welcomed to The James Hutton Institute

Image: (L-R) David Gray, Dr Rebekah Widdowfield and Professor Ian Wall.
Image: (L-R) David Gray, Dr Rebekah Widdowfield and Professor Ian Wall.
“I’m delighted to welcome our new board members. All three bring valuable experience across society, government, access and diversity, property development, public engagement in science, STEM education, finance and commerce"

Independent scientific research organisation The James Hutton Institute has welcomed three new leading figures to its board of directors.

Dr Rebekah Widdowfield, Vice Principal at St Andrews University, Professor Ian Wall, former CEO of The EDI Group, and David Gray, Chair of The Gannochy Trust, were formally adopted on to the board on Wednesday [April 26].

Together, the new directors bring a wealth of experience from across government, education, academia, finance and public engagement to the Hutton’s work across land, crops, water and the environment.

Ian Gambles, Chair of the institute, says, “I’m delighted to welcome our new board members,” he says. “All three bring valuable experience across society, government, access and diversity, property development, public engagement in science, STEM education, finance and commerce.

“This experience will contribute hugely to our organisation and the science that we do at a time when we have so many truly exciting projects, such as the International Barley Hub and Advanced Plant Growth Centre, as part of the Tay Cities Deal, and our HydroGlen and Just Transition Hub projects, that were awarded Scottish Government funding last year.”

“I would also like the thank our two outgoing board members, Elizabeth Wade and Archie Gibson. They have contributed a huge amount to both our work and sustainability as an organisation through their experience across communications and fundraising, as well as supporting the the development of projects within the Angus region Deal, and we will continue to collaborate with them.”

A researcher by background, Dr Rebekah Widdowfield has worked in academia and the Scottish Government, where she undertook a variety of analytical and policy roles. In 2017, she became Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, leading a programme of change to enhance the Society’s visibility, impact and reach, before becoming Vice Principal, People and Diversity at the University of St Andrews.

Since retiring as CEO of The EDI Group, Professor Ian Wall has chaired two committees on STEM education for the Scottish Government and has held a number of board and court roles across the arts and humanities and is immediate past Chair of the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI).

He is a Trustee of the National Museum of Scotland and of Newbattle Abbey College, a non-executive Director of Scotland’s Regeneration Forum (SURF), Visiting Professor of Urban Design at Heriot Watt University and a board director of the Edinburgh International Science Festival, which he invented.

David Gray is a chartered accountant and Chair of The Gannochy Trust. He was a partner in KMG Thomson McLintock (now KPMG), before taking senior roles at Caledonian Paper, Scottish Hydro Electric, SSE and EMEA Capital Markets at DTZ. He is a Fellow of the University of Strathclyde.

Notes for editors

Dr Rebekah Widdowfield

A researcher by background, Dr Rebekah Widdowfield has worked in academia and the Scottish Government, where she undertook a variety of analytical and policy roles including as Chief Researcher, Head of Rural and Environmental Science and Analysis and Head of Higher Education and Science.

She has led on several strategic advances, including instigating and then working with the Commission on Widening Access, delivering the first carbon accounting of a financial budget, and initiating a programme of work on climate change behaviours.

In 2017, she became Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, leading a programme of change to enhance the Society’s visibility, impact and reach, before becoming Vice Principal, People and Diversity at the University of St Andrews.

Dr Rebekah Widdowfield is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, the Royal Society for Arts, Manufactures and Commerce and an honorary Fellow of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society.

Professor Ian Wall

Since retiring as CEO of The EDI Group, Professor Ian Wall has chaired two Committees on STEM education for the Scottish Government and was previously Chair of WASPS and the Scottish Poetry Library, a member of the Heriot Watt University Court, a non-executive director at SheIter, visiting Professor of Architecture at the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and immediate past Chair of the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI).

He is a Trustee of the National Museum of Scotland and of Newbattle Abbey College, a non-executive Director of Scotland’s Regeneration Forum (SURF), Visiting Professor of Urban Design at Heriot Watt University and a Board Director of the Edinburgh International Science Festival, which he invented.

Professor Wall is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Incorporation of Architects, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

David Gray

David Gray is a Chartered Accountant and Chair of The Gannochy Trust, which owns over 200 homes let at affordable rent, a woodland park, 700 acres of farmland and forestry and which awards grants of around £5 million annually.

He was a partner in KMG Thomson McLintock (now KPMG), before taking roles including Managing Director of Caledonian Paper, Finance Director of Scottish Hydro Electric, Director of SSE and Chair of EMEA Capital Markets at DTZ.

He has held a number of non-executive directorships over 20 years, including at Scottish Water and several public and private companies. He was a member of Court and is a Fellow of the University of Strathclyde. For many years he taught and mentored on The Prince’s Trust Enterprise Programme.

Press and media enquiries: 

Elaine Maslin, Media Officer, The James Hutton Institute elaine.maslin@hutton.ac.uk, tel: +44 (0)1224 395076 or +44 (0)7977 805808


Printed from /news/new-board-members-welcomed-james-hutton-institute on 18/04/24 03:11:47 AM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.