Public appointment: Members appointed to the National Library of Scotland Board

Public appointments news release.

This document is part of a collection

The Minister for Culture, Europe and International Development And Minister with Special Responsibility for Refugees from Ukraine, Neil Gray, today announced the appointments of Emily Drayson, Michael Muir and Justin McKenzie Smith as Members of the National Library of Scotland Board.


Emily Drayson is a Highlands-based research consultant and experienced not-for-profit board member.  She has more than 15 years’ experience in the charitable sector, providing research and analysis for not-for-profit organisations across the UK.  Since 2014 Emily has served on the boards of UK charities, as a Trustee of the Chartered Institute of Fundraising (2014-20) and then as a Director and Trustee of Bliss Scotland (2020-), a leading charity for babies born premature or sick.  She also served on the Finance and Risk Committee of both organisations. Emily is a longstanding user of the National Library of Scotland.

Michael Muir has worked in a wide range of publishing and communication roles across Scotland’s public, private and third sectors, as well as outside the country.  He has nearly 25 years’ experience of leading projects and programmes or work related to publishing, organisational strategy, internal and external communications, and information management.

Justin McKenzie Smith is a senior diplomat with nearly 30 years’ experience of working in UK and Scottish Government roles at home and internationally.  Justin is passionately committed to Scotland’s cultural heritage. His earlier roles included postings to Russia, Mexico and the United Nations in New York.  Having first got to know the National Library of Scotland’s unique collections as a student, Justin is strongly committed to the goals of widening accessibility and ensuring that the  Library has an even more inspirational impact on life in Scotland in the years ahead.


The appointments will be for four years and will run from 20 February 2023 to 19 February 2027.

The appointments are regulated by the Ethical Standards Commissioner.


The appointments are part-time, with a time commitment of twelve days per annum. Appointments to the National Library of Scotland Board are not remunerated.

Other ministerial appointments

Emily Drayson, Michael Muir and Justin McKenzie Smith do not hold any other public appointments.

Political activity

All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process.  However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity within the last five years (if there is any to be declared) to be made public.   

Emily Drayson, Michael Muir and Justin McKenzie Smith have had no political activity within the last five years.


The National Library of Scotland is the guardian of the printed and recorded memory of Scotland, held on behalf of the nation.  It fulfils a statutory role as one of the nation’s most significant cultural and research organisations and operates within the context of the Scottish Government’s national outcomes and strategic objectives, including public service reform. 

The Library is a major European research library and one of the world’s leading centres for the study of Scotland and the Scots. It is the largest library in Scotland with over 34 million items and is one of the six Legal Deposit Libraries entitled to claim a copy of every printed and electronic work published in the UK and Ireland under the terms of the Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2013.  The Library’s collections include rare books, manuscripts, maps, photographs, music, moving image and official publications.

Back to top