Our Board

Rev Prof Kenneth Ross

Rev Prof Kenneth Ross

Chair
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After teaching at Chancellor College in the University of Malawi from 1988 to 1998, Ken continued his Malawi involvement during his years as General Secretary for World Mission at the Church of Scotland (1998-2009).

From the early 2000s, he was much involved in the inception of the Scotland Malawi Partnership and has chaired its Board from 2004 to 2006, and 2010 to the present.

He has published many books and articles on Malawi, including Malawi and Scotland: Together in the Talking Place since 1859, (Mzuzu: Mzuni Press, 2013) and most recently Friendship with a Purpose: Malawi and Scotland for Sustainable Development.


Claire Martin

Claire Martin

Co-Vice Chair

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.


Jeremaya Phiri

Jeremaya Phiri

Co-Vice Chair

Jeremaya is a member of the Malawian Diaspora community who moved to the UK in 2003. Before this he was a Social Worker with the Government of Malawi, volunteer groups, and international charities, specializing in children and families welfare.

Today Jeremaya lives in Aberdeen and works for Aberdeenshire Council as a Team Manager for various Social Work Teams, again focusing on children and families.

He is also actively involved in various volunteer development activities in both Scotland and Malawi, including as Executive Director for a Scottish charity which focuses on coordinating and enhancing diaspora-led initiatives with Malawi.


Douglas Young

Douglas Young

Co-Vice Chair

Douglas is the Rector at Beath High School in Cowdenbeath. His connection with Malawi began some nine years ago when, as a new Rector, he was keen to establish an international link to help widen the horizons of pupils at Beath. Beath chose Malawi for this link because of its historic connections with Scotland. A visit to Mendulo Primary in Mulanje in 2011 took their link to new levels and inspired Douglas to get far more involved in wider Scotland-Malawi connections. He caught the bug!

Beath's work continues to prosper in partnership with Mapanga and Njale Primary Schools. Under the banner 'Three Schools, Two Continents, One Goal. A Partnership in Action' the schools are undertaking some genuine joint curricular working in Music, Art, Drama and English. It is hoped to include more areas of the curriculum in the months and years ahead. In addition, there is a real sense of community about their work as people in Cowdenbeath and the surrounding area have been extremely generous in supporting the village of Chonde following the flooding early in 2015. This is also an exciting time for the partnership as 23 staff and pupils from Beath are currently in Malawi visiting both schools to further develop their joint working and maybe see a few young people catch that same bug!

Douglas enjoys running, mountain biking and rugby - although, being a season-ticket holder at Edinburgh, the rugby can be a wee bit challenging at the moment!


Dr Isabel Bruce

Dr Isabel Bruce

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Dr Isabel Bruce has extensive experience of delivering nationally and internationally and has strong public, higher education and charity sector experience at Executive and Non-Executive levels.

She is currently - with a strong Malawi relevance - Chair of the David Livingstone Trust, a Trustee of the National Museums Scotland, Trustee of the National Museums Scotland Charitable Trust. Previously she has been Chair and Vice-Chair of Higher Education Institutions and a Board member of the Enterprise Development Company in her home town of Hamilton.

Isabel is currently working on three health related projects in Malawi - maternal health and cancer related; and was awarded an OBE in the 2009 New Year Honours List for services to Higher Education in Scotland and Malawi.


Gillian McMahon

Gillian McMahon

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Gillian has been committed to working in international development throughout her career. She has a Masters in Development Studies and has specialised in programmatic work, alongside policy, research and funding, previously working for VMM, SCIAF and the Big Lottery Fund.

Gillian is currently Director of Strategic Partnerships and Policy with Mary's Meals and has played a key role in the strategic growth and development of Mary’s Meals' large-scale school feeding programme in Malawi since joining the organisation in 2010.

She is passionate about supporting organisations working to improve the lives of vulnerable people living in Malawi and believes that the Scotland Malawi Partnership has an important role to play in mobilising Scottish and Malawian civic society to have the greatest possible impact towards this goal.


Denis Robson

Denis Robson

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Denis enjoyed a 40-year career with International Healthcare company Johnson & Johnson serving in senior management positions with responsibility for their Medical Device business in Africa and the Middle East.

Latterly as Director of African Affairs, he managed a portfolio of Corporate Social Responsibility programmes directed at improving the skills of health workers serving the most disadvantaged in the community.

Denis volunteers as a Health Advisor to organisations addressing Women’s Health issues and access to surgery in Africa. He is a Director of the Fistula Foundation and an Honorary Fellow of the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA) and the West African College of Surgeons (WACS).

He leads a twinning partnership with his home town Innerleithen in the Scottish Borders and Thondwe in the Zomba district of Malawi. 

An active Rotarian, Denis also enjoys many outdoor activities such as running, hill walking, wild swimming and watching rugby.


Prof Andrew Goudie

Prof Andrew Goudie

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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.


Colin Reilly

Colin Reilly

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Colin is a postgraduate student at the University of Glasgow, currently undertaking research into language use and language attitudes within tertiary education in Malawi.

Colin's engagement with Malawi began in 2011 when he volunteered with the student-led charity, Student Volunteers Abroad (SVA). The project involved working with the Malawian NGO, Nancholi Youth Organisation. In 2012, he went on to coordinate one of SVA's Malawi projects and in 2012-2013 he was elected as President of the charity, overseeing two projects in Malawi as well as other countries in Africa and Asia.


Malcolm Fleming

Malcolm Fleming

Born in Dumfries, Malcolm grew up in Clydesdale, is a graduate of the University of Aberdeen and now lives in Leith.

His career to date has been a mix of politics and international development. He spend eight years working for Oxfam, specialising in communications, advocacy and campaigns. Based in Scotland, he undertook regular overseas placements including numerous visits to Malawi. His work included a period as Regional Media Coordinator for Oxfam South East Asia, based in Bangkok, and also work as Emergency Media Officer and Spokesperson for Oxfam International in Sri Lanka after the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami.

In 2011, First Minister Alex Salmond appointed him as a Special Adviser in the Scottish Government and in Autumn 2014 he became a Senior Special Adviser to the new First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, specialising in the international development, climate change, environment, energy and land reform portfolios plus others. His work included the establishment of Scotland's Climate Justice Fund, and the new Humanitarian Emergencies Fund, as well as the Scottish Government's partnership with the UN to support the role of women in peacemaking.

He is a former board member of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland and now works as Head of Public Affairs for the charity fundraiser, the People's Postcode Lottery.


Ben Wilson

Ben Wilson

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Ben Wilson is Policy Officer at the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF), where he specialises in the international development impact of global and domestic climate change policy.

He is currently completing a PhD at the University of Glasgow, which explores contemporary efforts to make development more equitable, using the SMP as a case study.

Ben first became involved in Scotland’s relationship with Malawi as a student volunteer in 2007, and continues to support youth and community links between the two countries. 

Along with his parents and fellow ex-volunteers, he established and continues to lead Bangwe Community Partners, as small SMP member that supports community-led development activities in Bangwe, Malawi. 


Heather Cubie

Heather Cubie

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.


Nicholas Gubbins

Nicholas Gubbins

Nicholas Gubbins is founding chief executive of Community Energy Scotland, a Registered Scottish Charity established in 2008, dedicated to supporting communities on sustainable energy development. He was Chief Executive of the Highlands and Islands Community Energy Company, CES’ predecessor.

Before that, he was Head of Community Regeneration at Highlands and Islands Enterprise, focused on supporting community-based development, the voluntary sector and social enterprise.

Between 1982-2000 he worked for the Nature Conservancy Council and Scottish Natural Heritage. He is a Trustee of The Highland Hospice in Inverness and the Pebble Trust, a small charitable trust working for a more sustainable and equal society. 

Nicholas was very closely involved in the establishment of Community Energy Malawi, a constituted Malawian non-profit and social enterprise that focuses on the development of community owned off grid energy systems. He continues to have a close engagement through joint project initiatives and mutual exchange of experience and skills between CES and CEM.


Tione Mtalimanja

Tione Mtalimanja

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.


Lilian Haire

Lilian Haire

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Lilian originally worked as a clinical scientist in the NHS in her early career before moving into Senior Human Resources and Learning and Development roles in the NHS, Universities and in Research Institutes and Research Councils as well as working with charities and in the private sector.

She has thirty years experience of working in HR and L&D and has had a number of advisory roles supporting charities and public sector organisations in this area.

She is now a freelance HR consultant and combines this with studying photography.