Member reappointed to the Board of Skills Development Scotland Board

Public appointments news release.

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The Minister for Higher and Further Education; and Minister for Veterans

today announced the reappointment of Paul Taylor, Poonam Malik, Dr Mark Dames, and David Hillier as Members of the Skills Development Scotland Board.

Paul is currently Managing Director of British Telecom’s Multinational Corporates Business Unit, responsible for the technology provision and digital transformation for some of the largest global organizations. Paul was previously responsible for BT’s Public Sector business, and prior to that was Global CIO. He brings significant business transformation and digital enablement expertise to SD’S and a knowledge of the skills, training and personal development needed to successfully compete in today’s global markets. Paul is a graduate of Glasgow University, Strathclyde Graduate Business School, and Oxford University, and is passionate about continuous education and development, to ensure individuals have the skills and capabilities to thrive in today’s fast changing work environment.

Dr Poonam Malik is an entrepreneurial business strategist, Life Sciences leader, and an investor in Innovation. Dr Malik is Head of Investments at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow – accountable for strategic leadership of University’s enhanced Investment ambition into new Ventures and its portfolio of start-ups, spinouts and spinin Companies. A Global Scot, Poonam, is a Scottish Enterprise Board Member and is also the Sustainability, NetZero, Climate Transformation, and equitable opportunities Champion on the board. Poonam is Chairperson, Founder and Board Director bringing 25+ years expertise from technology, enterprise, innovation, research & governance from health industry and business sectors, globally. Dr Malik was appointed Co-Chair, by Scottish Government, to lead on First Minister’s ‘New Deal for Business Group (NDBG)’ representing business and industry- co-Charing the role with the Cabinet Secretary for Wellbeing Economy. Poonam is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (FRSE); the Royal Society of Biology (FRSB) and sits on many National Committees, advises policymakers and is recipient of several awards. She holds a PhD in Biomedical Sciences/Virology from the University of Glasgow, UK, an MBA (with Distinction) in 'Strategy and Leadership' from the University of Edinburgh Business School, a Masters (MSc) degree in Biotechnology and a Bachelors (BSc) in Chemistry & Zoology from India.

Professor David Hillier is Associate Principal and Executive Dean of the University of Strathclyde Business School. He is responsible for managing resources to provide teaching, learning, research, and knowledge transfer activities in the Strathclyde Business School (SBS). Professor Hillier teaches across the full suite of finance topics. His prior consultancy work relates to asset valuation, corporate risk management, corporate governance advice, equity and bond valuation, regulatory compliance, short term capital management, treasury management, and investing.

Dr Mark Dames is Head of Digital Economy for the government of Jersey, with the responsibility for leadership on policies relating to digital telecoms, Data protection, cyber security, and broadcasting. Prior to this he was head of policy and public affairs for BT Group in Scotland, leading on policy for BT’s nations and regions and sitting as a member of the BT Scotland Board. With responsibility for the creation and execution for BT’s regional policy he helped to deliver BT’S strategic objectives within the UK Nations and regions. This included developing policy positions on issues that had an impact on the company’s business activities such as the role of the digital technologies in the driving up Scotland’s productivity performance.
He started his career with BT at the company's research and development laboratories at Martlesham Heath, Ipswich. Working in the Optical Physics Division, he was part of a world-class team carrying out research into novel optical switching technologies and architectures for application in future-generation telecommunications networks. He also spent a period of his career with Accenture, working on the development of the world's first interactive digital television and advanced data services platform. A graduate of Edinburgh and Cambridge Universities, Dr Dames is a Chartered Engineer and a Chartered Physicist.


This reappointment will be for 2 years and will run from 8 January 2024 to 7 January 2026.

This reappointment is regulated by the Ethical Standards Commissioner.


This reappointment is part-time and attracts a remuneration of £339 for a time commitment of 2 days per month.

Other ministerial appointments

Poonam Malik is a member of the Scottish Enterprise, for which she receives remuneration of £13,260 per annum, for a time commitment of 2.5 days per month.

Paul Taylor, Mark Dames, and Professor David Hillier do not hold any other public appointments.

Political activity

Paul Taylor, Professor David Hillier, Mark Dames, and Poonam Malik have had no political activity within the last five years.


Skills Development Scotland is the national skills body supporting the people and businesses of Scotland to develop and apply their skills.  A series of skills and economic strategies interlink to shape SDS's work, making sure that services and partnership activity are meeting the needs of customers and effectively contributing to our inclusive, sustainable growth ambitions for Scotland.


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