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Board of Directors

Chair: Susan Davies

Susan Davies has had a career in nature conservation and responsible stewardship of land and natural resources. Her early career was spent as an adviser/ head of unit with the UK Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) where she was involved in the development and implementation of nature legislation and species and habitat recovery programmes; especially at a European and UK level. She returned to Scotland in 2000 taking up a science-policy role with Scottish Natural Heritage (now NatureScot) before becoming the Director of Operations (North), then Director of Policy and Advice and latterly interim CEO. 

Susan left NatureScot in 2016 to be the Director of Conservation with the Scottish Wildlife Trust. In 2019 she took up the role of CEO at the Scottish Seabird Centre to lead the organisation through a period of change and at a time when more attention needed to be focused on the effective stewardship of Scotland’s marine environment.

Susan is originally from Peebles in the Scottish Borders and now lives in Dunbar, East Lothian. She gained her undergraduate degree from the University of St Andrews and a masters from University of Aberdeen. She was a Trustee/Chair of Venture Trust for over 7 years from 2015-2022 and has been a member of the James Hutton Institute’s Board since 2017, including being the Chair of its nominations, remuneration and governance group for the last 3 years. Susan is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and is currently a member of the Scottish Government’s First Minister’s Environmental Council which was established to advise the Government on international best practice to help Scotland respond effectively to the climate and nature emergencies.

 

 

Chris Gilligan

Photograpgh of Chris GilliganProfessor Chris Gilligan is a Director at the University of Cambridge where he held a personal chair in Mathematical Biology and was previously Head (Dean) of Biological Sciences. He continues to lead the Epidemiology and Modelling Group in the Department of Plant Sciences, working on models to predict and optimise disease control, with applications in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, Australia, US and UK.  He has been a member of Council of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences; he chaired the Defra Science Advisory Council and the UK Joint Nature Conservation Committee as well as a number of government and scientific reviews, including tree health and biosecurity, crop science and animal disease. He is the King’s Trustee at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and was previously a Trustee of the Natural History Museum. He is an Honorary Fellow of the American Phytopathological Society and former President of the British Society for Plant Pathology. He has held a Royal Society, Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship and a BBSRC Professorial Fellowship and was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours (2015) for services to plant heath in the field of epidemiology.

 

Ken Greetham

Photograph of Ken Greetham

As the former Chief Executive of Wynnstay Group plc, Ken has significant experience in core agriculture, corporate planning and the development of commercial businesses. Originating from a farming background, Ken gained an HND in Agricultural Marketing and Business at Harper Adams University. He established an agricultural business in 1987 which became integrated into Wynnstay in 1997. Having developed the arable division of Wynnstay, he became Chief Executive of the Group in 2008. The company was registered on AIM in 2004 and, during his tenure, Ken oversaw significant growth of the business, establishing its position as a major supplier of a wide range of products to the UK agricultural industry. He was a member the Agricultural Industries Confederation Strategy Group, having previously served on the UKASTA national fertiliser committee, including representation on the FACTS committee. Ken maintains an active interest in the agricultural industry and sits on the Audit and Risk Management Committee for Harper Adams University. He is a member of Empower, a Multi Academy Educational Trust and is also involved in a number of local community projects.

 

Sir Paul Grice

Photograph of Sir Paul Grice

Sir Paul Grice, FRSE, FAcSS has been Principal and Vice Chancellor of Queen Margaret University Edinburgh since 2019. He was Clerk and Chief Executive of the Scottish Parliament from 1999 to 2019, and was knighted in the New Year’s Honours List 2016. Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 2018. Elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences 2020. Besides his board membership at the James Hutton Institute, his current non-executive roles include Council Member, Institute for Fiscal Studies; Scientific Advisory Board Member, Behaviour Change by Design Research Project, Cambridge University; Chair, Queen’s Nursing Institute Scotland; Convenor, Universities Scotland Learning and Teaching Committee; Board member of The British University in Egypt; Member, Place2Be Development Advisory Group Scotland. Previous roles include Trustee, Bank of Scotland Foundation, 2011-2020; Board Member, Edinburgh International Festival, 2013-2019; Board Member, Economic and Social Research Council, 2009-2015; Member of Court, University of Stirling, 2006-2013; Board Member, Policy Scotland (University of Glasgow) 2014-2019; Advisory Board Member, Scottish Centre for Social Research 2017-2020. He graduated in 1984 from University of Stirling, joined the UK Civil Service through the “Fast Stream” in 1985 and worked in several roles in Whitehall. Moved to The Scottish Office in 1992. Joined Constitution Group in May 1997 with lead responsibility for the Referendum on establishing the Scottish Parliament and, subsequently, the Scotland Act 1998 which laid the new constitutional framework.

 

Anne MacColl

Anne is a Non-Executive Director and high level international consultant. She has extensive experience as 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 Executive Leadership Team member of Scottish Enterprise.  She is a skilled relationship builder, coach and facilitator, with high cultural awareness. With dual nationality UK/France, she has fluent (bilingual) French, Spanish, intermediate level Portuguese and German. Her 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. Sports include running, cycling, swimming, skiing and anything exhilarating and exhausting in equal measure. 

 

 

George Lawrie

Photograph of George Lawrie

George has farming interests in the Kinross area, Perthshire. He is a past board member of NFUS, where he served as treasurer and past chair of the Land Use and Environment Committee He is currently on the board of AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds' and is chairman of their Research and Knowledge Transfer Committee. He is also on the board and chairman of The Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society (SAOS), a trustee and chairman of The Royal Highland Educational Trust (RHET) and a board member of Scottish Agronomy.

 

 

 

 

Rebekah Widdowfield 

Dr Rebekah Widdowfield is Vice Principal, People and Diversity at the University of St Andrews. A researcher by background, Rebekah worked in academia for a number of years before joining the Scottish Government in 2001 to pursue a more applied research career. She became a senior civil servant (SCS) in 2008 serving in 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.

As a member of the SCS, she 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.

Rebekah left Government to become Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2017, leading a programme of change to enhance the Society’s visibility, impact and reach through initiatives such as the RSE’s Women in Science Exhibition, a regular summer public engagement programme, the Post-Covid Futures Commission and development of a regional strategy. Rebekah 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.

Ian Wall

Professor Ian Wall brings decades of experience in property development/management and in Public Engagement in Science (PES); before retiring he was CEO of The EDI Group responsible for many property development and refurbishment projects across central Scotland.

Ian 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, 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, the latter which he invented.  He 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.

 

 

 

Lindsay Sim

              Lindsay Sim is a chartered management accountant (CIMA) and is currently employed as the 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 Councils 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.

 

 

Susan Mitchell

Susan 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.

 

 

 

Robin Walker

Robin Walker is a seasoned and experienced business leader who is applying those skills in his business and charitable roles in a plural semi-retirement career. As a business leader he worked in the food sector in the UK and Internationally for 40+ years as a senior executive working at C-suite level in several large corporates such as H.J. Heinz, Danone and Northern Foods Plc. He now has a portfolio of Charity and Non Executive Director roles to employ that wealth of experience for the benefit of others. He currently sits on the board of Berry Gardens Growers Ltd as Chairman having been Vice Chairman for the preceding 6 years and on the board of James Hutton Ltd and has previously been on the boards of Polair in Russia, APHA (a DEFRA agency), Snaige  in Lithuania and in the UK PizzaRossa Ltd and Shirlaws Group Ltd a consultancy and coaching business. In the charity sector he was appointed Chairman 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 where he joined the board in 2018.

Robin has lived in Chalfont St Peter in 2 spells which make up the bulk of his life and is married with one daughter and two grandsons. His interests outside of working include good food, wine and travel along with motor sport where he is a keen competitor.

 

Caroline Bowsher

Caroline Bowsher is a Professor of Biology at The University of Manchester and Deputy Head of the Molecular Cellular Function Division within the Faculty of Biology Medicine and Health.  She is also Academic Theme lead for Digital Learning Environment  as part of the University wide Flexible Learning Programme.  Caroline has research expertise in molecular and cellular aspects of plant nitrogen and carbon metabolism, and has trained students at all levels.  She also held the Royal Society Pickering Research Fellowship for 8 years. She has gained a breadth of knowledge and experience through representing the Faculty on numerous occasions at University level, and through leading University wide initiatives.  She has a successful record of working with colleagues at all levels of seniority and experience and ensuring there is a culture to allow individuals to feel valued and empowered.  In undertaking major academic administrative roles she has not only managed and led change to ensure the teaching and learning goals of the University and Faculty are delivered effectively, but also implemented processes that have facilitated delegation to others.  In 2018 Caroline was made a National Teaching Fellow which is the highest national award given to Higher Education lecturers.

 

 

Dr Olga Kozlova

Dr Olga Kozlova, Director of Innovation and Engagement at the University of Oxford, is a visionary leader with a deep commitment to addressing global challenges through sustainable technology ventures. An experienced board director and advisor in both the commercial and charitable sectors, her passion lies in translating research excellence into practical solutions and creating opportunities for university students and staff to commercialise their innovations.

With a career marked by founding a biotech company and later establishing Converge Challenge, Scotland's premier program for transforming university knowledge into thriving companies, Olga has a proven track record in entrepreneurship and research translation. Her previous role as Director of Innovation and Industry Engagement at the University of Strathclyde demonstrated her capacity to drive economic growth and societal impact through innovation.

A Fellow of both the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) and the Royal Society for Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA), Olga's expertise extends to building successful partnerships and fostering high-performing, diverse teams. Her career includes collaboration with universities, governments, and the third sector, both in Scotland and internationally. She has championed campaigns to support female entrepreneurs emerging from academia and forged partnerships with 19 higher education institutions, government entities, and private sector companies.

Eileen Stuart

Eileen Stuart is Deputy Director for Nature & Climate Change with NatureScot. She is the strategic lead for work to restore nature and tackle climate change, as well as enhance people’s connection with nature.

Eileen leads teams of specialists working on species conservation, marine and terrestrial ecosystems, translating evidence into impactful advice for Scottish Government, and partners, to help create a nature-rich and climate resilient future for the people of Scotland.  Eileen is the Chief Scientist for NatureScot and has a particular responsibility for science, monitoring and surveillance on land and sea and oversees the work of NatureScot’s Scientific Advisory Committee.

Eileen has extensive experience of working to promote nature across Scotland, including roles managing National Nature Reserves, supporting positive community action programmes and undertaking research and survey from Shetland to Central Scotland.  Over many years, Eileen has conducted wader and raptor breeding surveys as well as undertaking voluntary control of invasive non-native species.

She is currently a Director of a community development company who own and manage land, and promote public access in her local area and Treasurer of a charity devoted to addressing violence against women across the Highlands.

Sarah Cowie

Sarah currently works for NFU Scotland as their environmental resources policy manager, working on land use issues such as woodland creation, peatland and biodiversity. She takes an inclusive and participatory approach to developing policy, ensuring the diverse views of NFUS's 9,000 strong membership are heard. She is clear that farmers are part of the solution to the climate and biodiversity crises and that development of future agricultural policy must be done in collaboration with those on the ground.

Prior to this she worked for Edinburgh-based political monitoring agency, Newsdirect. She co-founded the Women in Public Affairs Scotland network, with the aim of creating a safe space for women in the industry to meet, network and learn from each other.

She was also an operational volunteer with the 2050 Climate Group for a number of years and has a strong interest in climate change action and policy".

 

Susan McDonald

Susan is an award-winning Electrical and Mechanical Engineer with over 13 years’ experience in designing and overseeing major engineering infrastructure programs in the electrical power, utilities, and renewables sector.

She is currently the Energy Transition Lead within Deloitte’s UK Sustainability & Climate Strategy team where she enables clients to design and develop credible energy transition plans including strategy development, use of innovation and technology deployment such as for novel grid design, and offshore wind systems.

Susan joined Deloitte in 2016, after six years at National Grid. Amongst her responsibilities there, Susan led the coordination of 12 UK Offshore Wind Projects.

She is an ambassador for the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, which helps promote engineering globally, and is a member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology and Women’s Engineering Society. Susan was selected to be a member of Homeward Bound Team 7 in 2022.

Susan has formerly been the Chair of Energy UK’s Young Energy Professionals Forum, and Deloitte’s Main Representative for the Major Projects Association.

She received her MEng in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering degree with Distinction from the University of Strathclyde, holds an Institute of Asset Management Certificate, and a Business Sustainability Management Certificate with Distinction from the University of Cambridge.

 


Printed from /staff/directors on 27/02/24 09:22:06 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.