New Non-Executive Directors announced

Four Non-Executive Directors and two Deputy Non- Executive Directors appointed

Four new Non-Executive Directors and two Deputy Non-Executive Directors have been appointed to the Scottish Government. 

Nichola Clyde, Neil Richardson, Jim Robertson and Fiona Ross have been appointed to the role of Non-Executive Director, with Laic Khalique and Ben McKendrick appointed as Deputy Non-Executive Directors.

Non-Executive Directors promote the highest standards of corporate governance by providing advice and support to the Permanent Secretary, Directors-General and other senior leaders across the Scottish Government.  

The appointees will bring a fresh perspective to issues and challenges faced by the Scottish Government and help to ensure clarity and rigour in the scrutiny, measurement and evaluation of objectives and outcomes.    

The Deputy Non-Executive Director appointments are new roles and the appointees will bring their considerable knowledge and experience to challenging current organisational practice and policy. 

Permanent Secretary Leslie Evans said:

“I am delighted to announce the appointment of these new Non-Executive Directors to the Scottish Government, which is an investment in the health of our corporate governance.  We are operating in unprecedented and uncertain times, and the governance of our organisation has never been more important. 

“Our new Non-Executive Directors bring expertise, specialism and diverse talent - supporting us as we grow as a workplace, and challenging us to continually improve as an organisation.” 

Ronnie Hinds, Lead Non-Executive Director, said:

“I am very pleased to welcome the appointment of four Non-Executive Directors and two Deputy Non-Executive Directors who will play an important role in supporting the Scottish Government in its vital work for the people of Scotland. Their extensive and wide ranging experience will be invaluable to the Scottish Government and I look forward to working with them as fellow Non-Executives.”


The role of the Non-Executive Directors is to provide advice, support and challenge in the following areas:

  • Strategic Advice – bringing external perspectives, stimulating innovation and bringing fresh eyes to issues and challenges, acting as a “critical friend”
  • Improving Performance – by ensuring clarity and rigour in the scrutiny, measurement and evaluation in delivering objectives and outcomes
  • Promoting Good Governance – helping our corporate Boards discharge their functions effectively
  • Audit and financial scrutiny – as a member of the Audit and Assurance Committee, providing assurance to the accountable officer regarding risks, systems and performance
  • Risk - holding officials to account for identifying and managing risk within their defined areas of responsibility, and ensuring risk strategies are fit for purpose, monitored and evaluated
  • Mentoring – of one or more senior officials

Fiona Ross is an exceptionally experienced public and private sector Chair and Non-Executive Director, having served on 17 Boards in Ireland and the UK over the past six years.  Fiona served two terms on the Board of the Registers of Scotland.  In addition to a range of UK and Irish Boards, in 2018 she was appointed by the Irish Government to Chair Córas Iompair Éireann (CIÉ), Ireland’s pubic transport provider, and to the incoming Board of the Irish Health Service the Health Service Executive (HSE).

Nichola Clyde is a deeply experienced Human Resources leader, having operated at executive level over the last 10 years in a highly regulated environment.  Nichola is Director of Business HR at Sky and previously worked as the Group Talent Acquisition Director, as well as holding varied HR Director roles, at Lloyds Banking Group.

Neil Richardson has worked extensively in the public sector for three decades, most recently as Deputy Chief Constable (Designate) with Police Scotland.  Neil has extensive experience of leading complex strategic change and is currently the CEO of Turning Point Scotland.

Jim Robertson Jim Robertson was global head of oil & gas tax in Shell for 11 years. He is now a Senior Fellow of ITIC, an education foundation based in Washington DC, in which he delivers capacity-building programmes to tax officials in developing countries together with the IMF, OECD and UN. He is a member of the UN Subcommittee on Extractive Industries Taxation Issues for Developing Countries and Chair of  the academic board of the Advanced Diploma in International Tax of the UK Chartered Institute of Taxation. Jim is on the governing council of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland and is a member of the Institute’s Scottish Taxes Committee.

Ben McKendrick is the Chief Executive and Company Secretary of the Scottish Youth Parliament. Previously, he was the Vice Chair and a member of the Board of the Humanist Society Scotland. Ben has worked in a variety of third and private sector roles, including in the Scottish Parliament, the British Heart Foundation Scotland and Myeloma UK. He has a Master’s Degree in Health Inequalities and Public Policy from the University of Edinburgh.

Laic Khalique is a senior strategic and operational delivery leader with extensive experience within the health and social care sector, specialising in the conception and implementation of new digital patient pathways, delivering significant transformational change programmes and new digital models of care.

The Non-Executive Directors are contracted to provide approximately 40 days support and receive remuneration of £9,436.

The list of current Non-Executive Directors is available on our website.


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