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New board members welcomed to The James Hutton Institute

The Hutton’s new board members, clockwise from top left, Susan Mitchell, Lindsay
“Our new members bring a wide range of skills that will support our major projects, including the International Barley Hub and Advanced Plant Growth Centre, as part of the Tay Cities Deal, and our HydroGlen and Just Transition Hub projects, supported by the Scottish Government"

Independent research organisation The James Hutton Institute has welcomed four new leading figures from across government, academia and industry to its board.

Anne MacColl, an international consultant, Susan Mitchell, Chief Operating Officer & Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Glasgow Caledonian University, and Lindsay Sim, Senior Manager for Finance and Revenues for Clackmannanshire Council, were recently adopted onto the Hutton board.

In addition, Robin Walker, whose career has included executive roles at household brands including Heinz, Carlsberg and HP, was also adopted onto the board alongside becoming the chair of James Hutton Limited, the Hutton’s commercial arm.

Together, the new directors bring a wealth of organisational and business development, financial and community experience to the Hutton’s work across land, crops, water and the environment.

Susan Davies, who took over her role as chair of the Hutton board on October 1, and is also Chief Executive of the Scottish Seabird Centre, says, “I’m delighted to welcome our new board members to the Hutton. This is an incredibly exciting time to be joining this organisation as we work to address some of the fundamental challenges facing us today, across food security, energy and the environment.

“Our new members bring a wide range of skills that will support our major projects, including the International Barley Hub and Advanced Plant Growth Centre, as part of the Tay Cities Deal, and our HydroGlen and Just Transition Hub projects, supported by the Scottish Government.

“I would like to thank former Hutton chair Ian Gambles for guiding the institute's strategic direction and investment in these major new initiatives and Deborah Keith for ensuring that the importance of the Hutton's science at UK and international levels, and its commercial potential, is better recognised.”

More information:

Anne MacColl is a non-executive director and high-level international consultant. She has extensive experience as a chair and as a board member across a number of public, private, third sector and research organisations. With direct experience of working with high profile public and private organisations and c-suite executives, she draws on her prior experience as CEO of Scottish Development International and as an executive leadership team member of Scottish Enterprise. She is a skilled relationship builder, coach and facilitator, with high cultural awareness. Anne’s interests revolve around leadership, governance and organisational development, public speaking, growing a variety of things including companies, mindsets and fruit trees.  She owns her own craft drinks business using only natural products.

Susan Mitchell has held executive positions in Higher Education for several years and is currently Chief Operating Officer & Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Glasgow Caledonian University responsible for the broad range of professional services. Susan previously held senior roles at Police Scotland as well as various other positions in retail leadership, including at Marks & Spencer and Boots. With a degree in Education from the University of Exeter and a MSc from the University of Warwick, Susan is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) and Chair of the Finance Committee at a Scottish Further Education College.

Lindsay Sim is a chartered management accountant and is currently Senior Manager for Finance and Revenues for Clackmannanshire Council and also undertakes the statutory role of Section 95 Officer. Lindsay is a key member of the leadership team, helping the council to develop and implement strategy to resource and deliver the council’s strategic objectives sustainably and in the public interest. Lindsay has a strong focus on financial governance and leads the promotion and delivery across the council of good financial management so that public money is safeguarded at all times and is used appropriately, economically, efficiently and effectively. Lindsay has spent her career in the public sector gaining experience across many council services. Lindsay is the current treasurer to the Central Scotland Valuation Joint Board, providing financial advice and support and is also a member of the CIPFA Directors of Finance Group.

Robin Walker is a seasoned and experienced business leader who has worked in the food sector in the UK and internationally for more than 40 years at senior executive level in several large corporates including H.J. Heinz, Danone and Northern Foods. He now has a portfolio of charity and non-executive director roles to employ his wealth of experience for the benefit of others. He is currently chair of the board of Berry Gardens Growers and has previously been on the boards of Polair in Russia, APHA (a DEFRA agency), Snaige  in Lithuania and in the UK PizzaRossa and Shirlaws Group, a consultancy and coaching business. In the charity sector he was appointed chair of trustees of Connect : North Korea and Korea Future Initiative in June 2017 and joined the Trustee board of Action4Youth Inspiration scheme in September 2017. He is also chair of The Clare Foundation, a Buckinghamshire charity which helps other charities.

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 


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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.