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Governance

Chair

Fran van Dijk

Fran van Dijk

Fran is a founding partner of One Stone Advisors Ltd, a global strategy and communications team which helps companies become more successful sustainability leaders. One Stone is a founding B Corp and a Best for the World honouree.

Fran advises on managing opportunity and risk to build long-term value, working with corporates to ensure that their business strategy, sustainability values and communications align. She helps emerging sustainability leaders integrate the SDGs into their strategy and prioritise the Goals for better business planning. Clients include Carlsberg Group, Electrolux, Ericsson, TUI Travel, Edrington, Tetra Pak and SSE.

Fran holds degrees from the University of Cambridge and the European Association for Environmental Management Education. She is co-author of Creating a Culture of Integrity: Business Ethics for the 21st Century and serves on the Board of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. She was a board member of the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute from 2004-2011.

Trustees

Brian Clark

Brian Clark

Brian Clark is a specialist in environmental impact assessment and strategic environmental assessment, urban and rural planning and environmental management. His initial research at Glasgow University was on regional development policy and mobility of industry in the UK and urban deprivation followed by research at Durham University   on urban planning  in Iran, Iraq and the Gulf States. Brian moved to Aberdeen University in 1971 to direct the MSc in Rural and Regional Resources Planning and he established the Centre for Environmental Management and Planning (CEMP), which won national and international awards  for consultancy, research and training in EIA, SEA, Sustainability and Environmental Management.

Brian has acted as a consultant to, and served on the Boards, of numerous national and international  organisations and in 1987 was made a founder member of UNEP's Global 500 Award for his services towards environmental management. Brian was awarded an MBE in 2006. Latterly,  he was a Board Member of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and a Board member and Chair of the Advisory Committee on Science of the James Hutton Institute from its establishment in 2011 until 2017.

Isobel Davidson

Isobel works as a Wildlife Consultant specialising in bats. She has had a varied career and gained a BSc. Hons. Biology from Aberdeen University as a mature student. Isobel has an interest in the environment and has worked in the environmental sector for many years. She is a Member of the North Sea Commission Energy and Climate Change Group, exchanging information and collaborative projects between North Sea coastal countries. She has been a local Councillor, on Aberdeenshire Council, for Ellon and District since and is Vice Chair of the Sustainability Committee which is guiding the Council towards carbon neutrality and promoting a circular economy.

She has a wealth of experience of community development, working in and with communities on the ground. Isobel is an experienced Trustee serving on several Charitable Trusts both as a local councillor and in a personal capacity

Priscilla Gordon-Duff

Priscilla Gordon-Duff

Priscilla graduated in Anthropology and Sociology  from  Durham University and as a mature student  returned to university to undertake a Diploma in Land Economy at Aberdeen. She subsequently qualified  as a Chartered Surveyor and between her two degrees married the owner of Drummuir Estate in Moray where her academic studies informed her  life and work. The Estate is  an integrated land holding that includes a home farm, tenanted farms, a Victorian Gothic Castle, let residential properties, forestry, moorland and a windfarm; the focus of her  work was on policy development and external relations.

In around 2000, in the lead up to Land Reform,  Priscilla was instrumental in the formation of ‘Drummuir 21’ an environmental charity that encourages involvement of all ages and abilities to work on sustainable development in the area and has particularly encouraged access for all.

Priscila has served  on several forestry and land related groups and from 2010 to 2014  chaired the Moray LEADER Local Action Group Panel. She is currently Chair of both the Andrew Raven Trust, a charity based at Ardtornish on Morvern and  of Drummuir 21.

Emma Knight-Strong

Emma Knight-Strong

Emma is a Sustainable Governance specialist, Chartered Environmentalist and Fellow of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment. Her experience spans a broad range of disciplines including policy and process development, integration of environmental considerations into business governance structures, environmental risk management, environmental impact assessment, investment due diligence, carbon footprinting and stakeholder training. She specialises in communicating science, environment, and sustainability with an extensive and varied range of stakeholders.

Emma is the founder of Green Arch Consulting, a strategic sustainability advisory business working with clients across a broad range of sectors to deliver sustainable governance changes in their organisations. Her client list spans food manufacturing, financial services, events, local authority, energy generation, legal and travel and transport, among others.

Emma holds degrees in Ecology from the University of Edinburgh and Environmental Law from the University of Nottingham. Her personal areas of interest include natural capital, ecosystem services and biophilic design.

Ron MacDonald

Ron MacDonald

Ron worked for Scottish Natural Heritage, and its predecessor body, the Nature Conservancy Council for over 27 years. He retired in March 2015 as SNH Director of Policy and Advice and is now an honorary research fellow at the School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen.

He has a PhD in agricultural zoology and in his early career he specialised in the impact of birds on agriculture and fisheries.  During his career with SNH he was closely involved in work on invasive non native species, the Langholm Demonstration Project for which he was a Director from 2014-2015 and the reintroduction of species such as the sea eagle to Scotland. From 2006-15 he was Chairman of the Scottish National Species Reintroduction Forum.

Ron's principal areas of interest are sustainable models of land use management for people and nature, species reintroductions and the links between human health and well-being and nature.

Ashish Malik

Ashish Malik

Ashish is a Lecturer at University of Aberdeen since 2019. His research and teaching focuses on understanding microbial processes in soil that are involved in carbon cycling and the underlying mechanisms with a genes-to-ecosystem approach. Using a multi-scale integrated ecology approach, he aims to leverage fundamental science to address key societal challenges of sustainable land use, climate change resilience and peatland restoration. He is also keen on exploring newer ways of doing research, improving research culture, and promoting diversity and inclusivity in academia and beyond.

Ashish grew up in Goa, India where he concluded his undergraduate education in Microbiology. He did his PhD research at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry in Jena-Germany, has worked as a Marie Curie Fellow at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology in Wallingford-UK, and as a Postdoctoral Scholar at University of California Irvine-USA. He lives in Aberdeen but greatly admires the nature around.

 

Joe Moore

Joe Moore

A chartered Civil Engineer by profession, Joe graduated from Dundee University in 1980 and worked in the water industry in Scotland for 25 years, latterly with Scottish Water as General Manager for North West Scotland. In 2005 Joe joined Scottish Natural as Director Corporate Services, retiring in 2017, having served as interim Chief Executive in both Bòrd na Gàidhlig and SNH.

Joe was, as Director Corporate Services, SNH’s Chief Finance Officer and Senior Information Risk Owner.

Joe is a Fellow of Scottish Council of Development and Industry and holds Institute of Directors Certificate and Diploma in Company Direction. Joe chaired the Highland Structure Partnership in its final year and was a member of the UHI Court in the lead up to gaining full university status.

Since retiring Joe has become one of two community representatives on the Tornagrain Conservation Trust, integral to the governance structure of Scotland’s newest new town, chaired by the Earl of Moray.

Sheila Ritchie

Sheila Ritchie

Sheila is a solicitor, dealing for the last 30 years, mostly in commercial and corporate work.  She is part retired and is now a consultant  with Grant Smith Law Practice, where she was a partner and director for more than 20 years.

She has been involved in NGOs connected with  rural affairs for many years, having sat on the North and West Grampian LEADER Board, the local enterprise trust board, Rural Forums’s Council- a long time ago- and  the Council and Scottish Advisory Committee of the RSPB.

A keen birder, she reads, walks, takes photographs and is currently the Convenor of the Scottish Liberal Democrats and one of its Federal Vice Presidents.

Mark Shucksmith

Mark Shucksmith

Mark Shucksmith OBE is Professor of Planning at Newcastle University and Visiting Professor at Ruralis, Trondheim. Mark’s main areas of research include social exclusion in rural areas, rural housing and rural development. Recent books include: Rural Poverty Today: Experiences of Social Exclusion in Rural Britain (2023); Hope under Neoliberal Austerity: responses from civil society and civic universities (2021); Routledge International Handbook of Rural Studies (2016); InterAction (2016); Rural Policies and Rural Transformations in the UK and US (2012); and Future Directions in Rural Development (2012). He has published over 120 papers in learned journals and advised governments in several countries.

Mark is a Trustee of the Carnegie UK Trust, and of ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England). He was a Board Member of the Commission for Rural Communities and Countryside Agency from 2005-13, a member of the Government’s Affordable Rural Housing Commission (2005-06), and Chair of the Scottish Government’s Committee of Inquiry into Crofting (2007-08). He was Specialist Advisor to the House of Lords Select Committee on Rural Economy 2018/19 and to its Select Committee on the NERC Act 2017/18. Mark was awarded an OBE in 2009 for services to rural development and to crofting.

Alan Werritty

Alan Werritty

Alan is Professor Emeritus of Physical Geography, University of Dundee and former Research Director of Dundee’s UNESCO Centre for Research on Water, Law Policy and Science and Honorary Professor at the University of St Andrews.  He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the British Society for Geomorphology, the Royal Scottish Geographical Society and a former Vice-President of the Royal Geographical Society.  

Having graduated from Cambridge University with an MA and PhD and a MS from Pennsylvania State, he took up his first academic post at the University of St Andrews, moving to a Chair at Dundee University in 1994.  Throughout his career he has explored the behaviour of rivers both in terms of how they shape the physical landscape and how they impact on human society.  Whilst most this research has been focused on Scotland, this has also been undertaken in the western USA, Spain, Israel and Poland.  Alan’s current research focuses on climate change, flooding and societal responses to increased flood risk.  He has published over 120 refereed articles and book chapters.  

Since 2004 Alan has advised the Scottish Government on drafting and subsequently implementing the Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009.  He was a member of the UN Secretary General’s Expert Group which reported on ‘Water Disasters’ to the 5th World Water Forum in Ankara in 2009.  Between 2009 and 2016 he was a member of the Board of the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute and then the James Hutton Institute.  A former member of Scottish Natural Heritage’s Science Advisory Committee, from 2017-19 Alan chaired a Scottish Government inquiry into Grouse Moor Management.

 

Advisors

Lisa MacIsaac