Public appointment: Members reappointed and appointed to the Scottish Funding Council Board

Public appointments news release

The Minister for Higher and Further Education; and Minister for Veterans today announced the reappointment of Sheila Duncan and the appointments of Linda Hanna and Grant Ritchie as Members of the Scottish Funding Council (SFC).


Sheila Duncan has over 20 years business experience and during her career has held a number of senior human resources (HR) positions in both Financial services and the Energy sector. Sheila was formerly the UK HR Director at Scottish Power, part of the Iberdrola group, where she was a member of the Scottish Power Executive Team with responsibilities for Health and Safety and Business Services as well as Human Resources. During her career, she also completed international assignments in the USA as Chief HR Officer at Avangrid, the US subsidiary of Iberdrola. Throughout her career, Sheila has been strongly committed to education and lifelong learning, championing diversity, inclusion and accessibility for all irrespective of background. Sheila holds an M.A. (Hons) from the University of Glasgow and is a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Personnel and Development.

Linda Hanna is an experienced leader and non-executive working across academia, public and private sectors focusing on innovation and economic opportunities. She brings deep understanding of economic and regional development as well as both public sector and academic delivery to the Council. As a member of the Executive Team at Scottish Enterprise for almost 10 years until 2022, she led regional, national and international teams, helping accelerate strategic investment in different parts of Scotland and industries such as high-value manufacturing, life sciences, food and drink, data-driven innovation and the low-carbon economy to help create great workplaces and sustainable jobs. With a keen interest in science, innovation and skills, Linda now has a portfolio of interests including the Chair of Scotland’s Rural College and as a Strategic Adviser to University of Glasgow, Smart Things Accelerator Centre and Primary Engineer.

Grant Ritchie has extensive experience of the post-schools education sector having worked for over 30 years at Dundee and Angus College, serving as Principle for over five years. He led the development of creative industries provision at Dundee and Angus College and was responsible for the £50 million Gardyne Campus redevelopment and building of the Space Dance centre. He is a past chair of the Angus Community Planning Partnership, the Colleges Scotland skilled workforce forum, the Scottish Qualification Authority’s (SQA) Higher National Next Generation Steering group, and the Energy Skills Partnership. Grant was also a member of the Scottish Funding Council’s Programme Board which oversaw the Review of Coherent Provision and Sustainability. He was awarded an SQA Fellowship in 2017 and a Fellowship of College Development Network in 2020.

Reappointment and Appointments

The reappointment of Sheila Duncan will run from 4 November 2023 to 28 June 2024.

The appointments of Linda Hanna and Grant Richie will run from 13 November 2023 to 28 June 2024.

Ministerial appointments to public bodies in Scotland are regulated by the Ethical Standards Commissioner.


The reappointment and appointments are part-time and attract a remuneration of £355.65 per day for a time commitment of three days per month.

Other ministerial appointments

Sheila Duncan, Linda Hanna and Grant Ritchie 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.   

Sheila Duncan, Linda Hanna and Grant Ritchie have had no political activity within the last five years.


Scottish Funding Council is Scotland’s tertiary education and research authority and our purpose is to sustain a world-leading system of tertiary education, research and innovation that enables students to flourish, change lives for the better, and supports social, economic and environmental wellbeing and prosperity.

They do this by investing around £2 billion of public money to deliver:

  • Tertiary learning and teaching.
  • Skills and apprenticeships.
  • Student support and participation.
  • Research, innovation and knowledge exchange.
  • Data collection and dissemination.
  • National quality assurance and enhancement processes.
  • Capital and digital infrastructure for the sector.
  • Strategic change, responsive provision and research priorities.

As a non-departmental public body established by the Further and Higher Education (Scotland) Act 2005, they are directly accountable to Scottish Government Ministers and the Scottish Parliament. SFC work across many government portfolios and are sponsored by the Lifelong Learning Directorate.

SFC hold colleges, universities and other funded bodies to account for their delivery of required outcomes. They are also the statistical authority for colleges, and work closely with the UK-wide Higher Education Statistical Authority (HESA), to provide data and statistics for government, decision-makers, and the wider public.

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