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Meet the Scotland Committee

What does the committee do?

The Scotland Committee is responsible for making sure our work meets the needs and priorities of people in Scotland.

Our committee members come from all walks of life. They bring with them a breadth of experience, which is essential for our work.

The committee sets our strategic direction and steers our work in Scotland. This includes:

  • developing our strategic and corporate plans, in particular in relation to Scotland
  • developing and approving our programme of work for Scotland
  • advising on how we use our powers, when they affect Scotland

See the Scotland Committee minutes.

Committee members

Dr Lesley Sawers (Chair)

Lesley is currently Executive Chair of GenAnalytics Ltd, a specialist analytical and market insights consultancy focused on business improvement linked to equality and diversity in the workplace.

Previously Lesley was Vice Principal and Pro Vice Chancellor for Business, Enterprise and Innovation at Glasgow Caledonian University and Chief Executive of the Scottish Council for Development and Industry. She has also held senior leadership positions at Scottish Power, Royal Mail, CACI, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce and VisitScotland.

She holds a number of senior public appointments with a focus on equalities, social justice and economic growth. She is Deputy Chair of the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, a Trustee of Glasgow Life and a Non-Executive Board Member of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau. She is also past Chair of Action for Children (Scotland).

As Scotland Commissioner, she also serves on the Equality and Human Rights Commission Board of Commissioners. Find out more about our Commissioners. 

David Crichton

David is Chair of NHS Health Scotland, having been appointed in December 2016. Health Scotland is Scotland’s public health improvement body, with a particular focus on reducing health inequalities. David is also a Member of the Scottish Police Authority (SPA), appointed to its Board in April 2018 and appointed SPA Vice-Chair in May 2018.

Before joining Health Scotland David worked as an international development advisor for nine years, primarily in Afghanistan and Montserrat with shorter spells in Tanzania, Croatia, Serbia and Macedonia. In Afghanistan he led economic development projects for the UK, US and Canadian international development agencies. He also worked with the NATO forces in southern Afghanistan and Kabul. In Montserrat he worked on trade, investment and tourism projects.

Earlier in his career, David was global Director for Country and Economic Research with the Economist Intelligence Unit, Chief Executive of the Confederation of Forest Industries and Chief Executive of Scottish Enterprise Edinburgh and Lothian.

Naomi McAuliffe

Naomi is the Head of Amnesty International’s Scotland Office and manages their operations in Scotland which covers campaigns, advocacy, communications, activism and fundraising. Having worked for Amnesty for over a decade in Edinburgh and London as well as on several international projects, she has campaigned on an extensive range of human rights issues including running two of their Global campaigns: My Body, My Rights on sexual and reproductive rights; and the poverty and human rights programme covering maternal health, housing rights, Roma and Gypsy Traveller discrimination, corporate accountability and international financial institutions. Before that she started with Amnesty in the Scotland office running the Stop Violence Against Women campaign for Scotland.

Naomi manages Human Rights Consortium Scotland, a network of civil society organisations who work together to protect and promote a human rights-based society in Scotland, which is currently hosted by Amnesty Scotland. She used to also write regularly for the Guardian’s Comment is Free.

Clare MacGillivray

Clare MacGillivray is an Independent Community Development / Human Rights Consultant. Clare is passionate about communities using human rights at the grassroots in Scotland. An experienced Third Sector CEO, Clare chaired the 2019 World Community Development Conference in Dundee and is a European Director for the International Association for Community Development. Clare is also a Trustee with the Children’s Parliament and Associate Tutor with the Social Enterprise Academy.

Rami Okasha

Rami is the Director of Transformation and Innovation at CHAS, Children’s Hospices Across Scotland. In this role, he works to support children with life-shortening conditions, and their families.

Until December 2018, he was Executive Director of Strategy and Improvement at the Care Inspectorate, Scotland’s largest scrutiny and improvement body. There, he was responsible for leading the Care Inspectorate’s improvement support activities across the care sector, and directed approaches to scrutiny methodology, intelligence, organisational development, corporate reporting, involving people who experience care in decisions, communications and policy development. He co-led the development of Scotland’s Health and Social Care Standards, working with people who use and provide care to ensure these are outcomes-focused, based on human rights and wellbeing, and person-led.

He is also a trustee of Luminate, Scotland’s creative ageing organisation which supports arts involving and about age and older people. Before joining the Care Inspectorate in 2013, he worked in public affairs, communications, policy development, and as a trade union officer for the EIS, where he represented teachers in the workplace, including involving discrimination issues.

Marsali Craig

Marsali has professional skills and experience as a local authority Social Worker and as a civil court Solicitor.

She has personal experience of working (and then not being able to work) as a disabled person and 10 years’ experience of travelling in her wheelchair.

Marsali sits on MACS (the Mobility and Accessibility Committee Scotland), which advises the Scottish Government about issues facing disabled people when travelling. She leads on UNCRPD questions and co leads on the Rail work stream.

Marsali was a member of the Scottish Council and then a Trustee and Director of the MS Society.  She was a Director of North-East Sensory Services, a successful Aberdeen based charity supporting people with vision and hearing loss. Marsali sat on the Aberdeen City Children’s  Panel for two terms and currently volunteers as an “expert patient” with the Faculty of Health and Social Care at Robert Gordon University Aberdeen. 

Phil Arnold

Phil is Head of Refugee Support (West) for the British Red Cross, the largest independent agency supporting asylum seekers and refugees in the UK.

He is responsible for personnel, operations and relationships in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and western England. He is strategic lead for Resettlement and Integration across the UK.

Phil has worked extensively on issues around helping survivors of persecution, conflict and violence to exercise their rights, use public services and participate more fully in life in the UK.

Amongst other working groups, Phil sits on the Strategic Migration Partnerships in Scotland and Wales and the Welsh Government Task Force. He is co-chair of the Asylum sub-group of the Scottish Government’s Refugee Integration Strategy and co-chair of the UK Government’s Community Sponsorship engagement group.

Phil is also an Honorary Research Fellow with Strathclyde University, focusing on refugee issues and human rights.

Bernadette Monaghan

Bernadette studied Law and Criminology and is passionate about a just society.

She has held a number of leadership roles within the third and public sectors, including Head of Operations with Sacro and Chief Executive of Apex Scotland, working to support the reintegration of (ex) offenders into the community and improve employment opportunities. She was the first National Convener and Chief Executive of Children’s Hearings Scotland.

As Director of Community Empowerment and Equalities at Glasgow City Council, her team’s responsibilities include locality planning, community asset transfer and participatory budgeting. They also work on Community Justice, supporting community councils, and engaging with the third sector and Glasgow Equalities Working Group and Equalities Forum.

Bernadette is a member of the Scottish Government’s PADS (Partnership for Action on Drugs in Scotland) Quality Working Group and the Council of SASO (Scottish Association for the Study of Offending).

Until recently, she served on The Law Society of Scotland’s Criminal Law Committee (since 2005) and was Chair of The Young Women’s Movement – YWCA Scotland.

She was previously a member of the Sentencing Commission for Scotland (the Scottish Government’s National Advisory Body for Offender Management), the Programme Board for The Management of Offenders (Scotland) Act 2005 and the Justice Leaders Network.

Register of Scotland Committee Members’ interests

The governance framework sets out rules and guidance for Scotland Committee Members on conflicts of interests, and we maintain a publicly available register of Committee Members' interests. Declarations of interests are available to download as Word documents, below.

Last updated: 20 Mar 2020