Our board of directors bring a wealth of skills and experience to guide our focus.
Professionally, Heather was a consultant Clinical Scientist in the NHS, based in Laboratory Medicine and R&D Director of NHS Lothian. These senior positions meant she acquired a wide range of relevant skills from training of scientists to diagnostic virology, from change management to employee relations, from financial management to research facilitation. Heather has always appreciated the strengths of the Scottish NHS and promoted a collaborative culture for better outcomes. She lobbied for a national HPV Reference Laboratory to complement national introduction of HPV vaccine and changes to the cervical screening programme. She founded a national HPV reference laboratory, set up a Scotland-wide network of HPV investigators and established a national sample archive, the combination of which has meant that Scotland is a world leader in vaccine effectiveness and HPV expertise.
She is currently a Senior Advisor to the Global Health Academy and Honorary Professor in University of Edinburgh and also actively involved in the Scottish Global Health Collaborative as a champion for volunteering from retired healthcare staff.
Since retirement, Heather has been actively involved in cervical cancer screening and treatment in Malawi, which has one of the highest incidences and the highest mortality of cervical cancer in the world. A Scottish Government grant from 2013-2016 allowed her and colleagues from the University of Edinburgh and across NHS Scotland to establish a same day ‘screen and treat’ programme in NKhoma CCAP Hospital, which reached 17,000 women who had never been able to access cervical screening and led to 70% of women with early lesions receiving same day treatment.
She is passionate about the respectful and truly reciprocal partnership developed with Nkhoma, in keeping with SMP partnership principles and which led to close involvement with the SMP through membership of the Board which she saw as an effective mechanism to advance valuable links and develop lasting friendships. She has just started her second term and will continue to be an active contributor to Board activities and a member of both the HR and Audit & Finance sub-committees.
With her colleague Dr Christine Campbell as lead, she has been awarded a new Scottish Government grant (2018-2023) to expand the successful Nkhoma programme to other regions of Malawi, together with development of a mentoring programme which should result in a sustainable national network of screening providers.
Claire works as an accountant within the corporate advisory team at Grant Thornton, and is a graduate of the University of Glasgow with a first class degree in Law and Business Economics.
A Director of the Scotland Malawi Partnership since September 2011, Claire was strongly involved in the establishment of a Youth Steering Group for the organisation, which led to the adoption by the membership of a new Youth category of membership of the Scotland Malawi Partnership to encourage engagement of those under 26 with the charity.
Claire has been involved with Malawi-related projects since 2006. In 2008, she travelled to Blantyre with her secondary school where, along with 22 other pupils and members of the local community, she assisted in the building and renovating of classrooms. Whilst at university she co-founded the Glasgow University Mary's Meals Group, a society that promotes and fundraises for Mary's Meals, a charity with a strong presence in Malawi.
Claire was elected Vice Chair of the Scotland Malawi Partnership in October 2014, and is also a member of the organisation's Audit and Finance Committee.
Douglas currently works as a marketing consultant for Orbis Expeditions, one of our members, who specialise in delivering bespoke visits to Malawi. He is also involved in initial teacher education as an Associate Tutor at the University of Glasgow.
His connections with Malawi began a good few years ago when, as Headteacher of Beath High School in Cowdenbeath, he was instrumental in establishing a link with a school in Malawi to help, amongst other things, widen the horizons and global awareness of his pupils at Beath. Over the years and with the advice and support of the SMP this link became a real partnership - one that continues to thrive and prosper.
Retired now, Douglas is delighted to be a lifetime member of the Beath Malawi Partnership where he continues to work alongside former colleagues as well as enjoying many personal links with Malawi.
Douglas has been involved with the SMP for many years and was chair of the Education and Schools forum before becoming a Board member. Now that he is retired of course, as well as having more time for his mountain biking and running, he is enjoying having more time to give in support of the SMP.
Before visiting Malawi for the first time in 2005, Susan’s professional career was either in politics or journalism, sometimes both.
For the last 15 years, Malawi has been the main focus of her work, and she has visited at least once a year, for work and increasingly to spend time with friends.
She worked on the first bi-lateral agreement between our two governments, and from 2007 has been a freelance governance adviser, working with Scottish NGO the Active Learning Centre and its Malawi partner, the Women’ Legal Resources Centre (WOLREC).
In recent years Susan has worked with councillors in Malawi on two capacity building programmes, sharing her insights gained as a councillor in Edinburgh for seven years.
In 2019 she and her husband lived in Malawi for six months, researching a book, The Spirit of Malawi, which will be published in February 2021. She also filed a weekly column Letter from Malawi for the Scotsman. She still writes for the Scotsman every Saturday, on a range of topics.
Susan previously served as a board director for the Scotland Malawi Partnership for several years, and is a trustee of 500 miles and the McConnell International Foundation.
Blessings is a PhD student at Queen Margaret University studying International Health and Development, with a particular focus on elderly carers of orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi. Blessings has been a Board member with four SMP members (Global Concerns Trust, Tearfund, StekaSkills and MIND), she has a wealth of knowledge about Malawi, the sector and Charitable Governance.
Gift is no stranger to the SMP, he has been a powerful supporter since he arrived to study in Scotland from Malawi. He has been an active member of the SMP Youth Committee and a regular youth spokesperson for the Partnership.
Chimzy Dorey says she is 'proudly Malawian, but also proudly British', having lived, studied and worked in Scotland and England during the past eight years.
Chimzy grew up in Malawi until the age of 16, where she was taught from a young age about the great friendship between both nations. She considers herself lucky to have experienced life as a young adult in both countries and her experiences of the two countries have helped shape the person she is today.
She is very keen to foster the strong bond that already exists between her two countries, and it is her goal to be able to make a difference to both of the nations which have nurtured her.
With Hazel Darwin-Clements, Chimzy hosted the fantastic 2021 ‘People to People’ Podcast series, exploring the Scotland-Malawi relationship.
Prof. John Briggs
John has had a key role in leading the University of Glasgow’s international development work and retired recently as the university’s Vice Principal. He is an informed and influential voice in the sector, with a continuing passion for Scotland’s links with Malawi.
Tione is a professional engineer and energy specialist with over 15 years of experience in the Electricity Industry in Malawi and the United Kingdom. He also has eight years experience in Rural Electrification in Malawi.
He is passionate about community development primarily focusing on clean energy access and economic empowerment. He has leadership experience both in his professional work as well as community and served both as a deacon and church elder in his congregation in Malawi.
Tione was also a board chairman for three years for the Multipurpose Church Hall, which was a fundraising arm of the congregation.
Rachel Phillips was born in Lilongwe Central Hospital in 1984 to Irish and Scottish parents who lived in Malawi from the 1960s to the 1990s. Rachel left Malawi when she was 11 but, like many displaced diaspora, became passionate about her original home and has travelled back 11 times.
Rachel's continued interest in Malawi, sub-Saharan Africa and politics, led her to take a couple of years out from medical training in Edinburgh, and between her second and third years she undertook an intercalated BSc at University College London where she was awarded First Class Honours in International Health.
Later on, before her final year, she spent a year in South Africa volunteering for Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) – the largest NGO in South Africa that campaigned for a national roll-out of anti-retroviral medication in the public sector during a period of governmental AIDS denialism.
She is now a GP in Edinburgh with an interest in medical education and postgraduate training in primary care.
Prof. Andrew Goudie
Professor Andrew Goudie is currently employed at the University of Strathclyde as Special Adviser to the Principal and Visiting Professor. Andrew was educated at Queens' College, University of Cambridge, UK (BA Econ., MA; PhD); and the Open University, UK (BA Maths and Stats). He was awarded an Hon. D.Litt. by the University of Strathclyde and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
Andrew's career has included a wide range of roles in national and international public service: including at the University of Cambridge (Research Officer, Department of Applied Economics; Research Fellow, Queens' College; Fellow and Director of Studies, Robinson College); the World Bank, Washington (Senior Economist); the Scottish Government (Senior Economic Adviser); the OECD Development Centre, Paris (Principal Economist); the Department for International Development, UK Government (Chief Economist) and, most recently, in the Scottish Government from 1999 - 2011 as Chief Economic Adviser and Director-General Economy.
Prof. Jeremy Bagg
Professor Jeremy Bagg studied at Edinburgh University from 1975, completing his dental degree and PhD by 1982, after which he worked at Cardiff Dental School for eight years. He moved to the University of Glasgow in 1991, from which he recently retired after 16 years as Head of the Dental School. This role provided Professor Bagg with significant experience in the higher education and healthcare sectors, including at Government level.
Since 2016, he has worked with Dr Mwapatsa Mipando and colleagues at the Kamuzu University of Health Sciences to establish Malawi's first Dental School. Following a successful grant application for £1.3m to the Scottish Government, they established the Maldent Project (www.themaldentproject.com) in 2018. The new BDS programme launched in August 2019, and in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, they are finalising Malawi's first National Oral Health Policy. They have also established a Scottish charity, MalDent Student Aid, to support Malawian dental students.
Fiona Anderson has held a passionate interest in Malawi for more than 15 years both through her professional career (within education as Head Teacher and now Team Manager for Early Years) and her personal life. Fiona has visited Malawi on four occasions, one through a British Council Connecting Classrooms programme and three times as part of the Dunblane-LIkhubula Partnership. Two of these visits have also involved leading groups of young men from the Boys' Brigade to work to build and repair classrooms together with the charity Classrooms for Malawi.
As one of the Trustees of the The Dunblane-Likhubula Partnership, Fiona have seen first hand the impact of effective and meaningful collaborative working between communities in Scotland and Malawi. The Dunblane-Likhubula Partnership has also extended links to schools, congregations, youth organisations and the wider communities in both countries and through her role as Trustee, Fiona has an excellent knowledge of how to engage communities effectively.
Formally as a Head Teacher and now as a Team Manager, Early Years, Fiona offers a wealth of skills, including leading and managing teams, fundraising, risk management, programme planning and supporting children and young people to see themselves as Global Citizens.