Stewarding Group

The Stewarding Group was established early in the development of Scotland’s Climate Assembly. Members of the Stewarding Group represent a broad range of interests in Scotland and their role is to provide advice and guidance in all aspects of the Citizens’ Assembly. They act to ensure balance and legitimacy in the establishment, conduct and reporting of the Assembly.

The minutes of the Stewarding Group meetings can be found below:

Minutes of first Stewarding Group meeting

Claudia Beamish

Claudia Beamish

As Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Climate Change Environment and Land Reform (Scottish Labour) an ex-primary teacher and eco-schools co-ordinator and community activist, as well as a grandparent, Claudia hopes to bring a multi-perspective to the group. She has been very involved in helping shape Scotland’s Climate Change Act and is eager to ensure the updated Climate Change Plan has people and planet at its heart. With a strong commitment to just transition principles, she has worked closely with the Just Transition Partnership of unions as well as environmental NGOs. Claudia hopes that her experiences can bring some focus to ensuring the development of a just and inclusive way forward for Scotland, while never forgetting the Global South.

Malcolm Cannon

Malcolm Cannon

Malcolm joined the Institute of Directors (IoD) Scotland as National Director in September 2019. His previous role was as chief executive of Cricket Scotland, where he helped to restructure the organisation; recruiting a new board of directors, as well as introducing new membership groups and income streams to the business. Prior to that, he led both property firms ESPC and Lomond Lettings, and Hunter, the iconic wellington boot brand. Malcolm’s role is to help directors in the private, public and third sectors throughout Scotland to develop and connect with each other, and to influence policy decisions which affect their businesses.

Finlay Carson

Finlay Carson

Finlay Carson has been the MSP for Galloway and West Dumfries since 2016. Coming to the Scottish Parliament from a farming background, and born, brought up and still living in Galloway he has brought a rural perspective to the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee over the last 4 years, on which he is now the deputy convenor. He has also had roles in the Scottish Conservative and Unionists group as Shadow Minister for the Natural Environment and now COP26.

Bryce Cunningham

Bryce Cunningham

Bryce is a Dairy Farmer and distributer with a passion for supporting small food producers with an ethical and environmental awareness away from big business.  With his business 'Mossgiel Organic Farm' being an extension of his vision of sustainability; Bryce hopes to drive change into the food system using modern, organic farming knowledge to improve on our food system and way of life.

Paul de Leeuw

Paul de Leeuw

Paul is a senior industry leader and executive with over 30 years’ experience in the global energy sector. He has worked in a wide range of companies, including Shell, Marathon Oil, Amoco, BP, Venture Production and Centrica. He is currently the Director of Robert Gordon University’s Energy Transition Institute, a Professor at Robert Gordon University, Chair of PlanSea Solutions, a board member of the Oil and Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) and a member of the Opportunity North East (ONE) Energy sector board. Paul is an experienced non-executive director, with over 20 years of involvement in public, private and voluntary sector organisations. Paul is also a regular contributor to industry events and a commentator on issues and developments in the international energy sector.

John Dickie

John Dickie is director of Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) in Scotland. He is responsible for promoting and influencing policies that will contribute to eradicating child poverty in Scotland and across the UK as well as overseeing the strategic development of second tier welfare rights support services that ensure frontline workers are able to support families to receive the tax credits and benefits that they are entitled to.

He was previously head of the youth unit at Scottish Council for Single Homeless. Before that he worked directly with young people experiencing homelessness, both as a volunteer and professional. He is a graduate from Aberdeen University in Sociology and Social Anthropology, and holds a postgraduate diploma in housing studies from Stirling University. He lives in Edinburgh and enjoys spending time with his family, cycling and walking among other things.

Iain Docherty

Iain Docherty

Professor Iain Docherty is Dean for the Institute for Advanced Studies. He joined the University of Stirling in April 2019. Prior to this, he was Professor of Public Policy and Governance and Director of External Engagement at the University of Glasgow Adam Smith Business School.

Iain completed his BSc in Geography and PhD in Geography and Economic & Social History at the University of Glasgow. His research interests focus on the interconnecting issues of public policy, institutional change and city and regional competitiveness, especially the role of transport in promoting economic development and environmental sustainability.

Iain has worked with and advised a range of private sector, governmental and other organisations including governments and public agencies in the UK, US, Australia, Canada, The Netherlands and Sweden, and the OECD.

Kate Dyer

Kate Dyer

Kate is one of Extinction Rebellion (XR) Scotland’s representatives on the Stewarding Group. Within XR she works on political engagement and overall strategy. After learning a huge amount from teaching in schools in deprived areas, she has lived overseas for most of her career, founding an influential NGO, and then a consultancy business in Tanzania. As a governance and accountability specialist she has worked at senior levels with NGOs, international donors, philanthropic foundations and governments. She has a commitment to ensuring every voice is heard and inequalities addressed, especially in the context of responding to the profound challenge that the climate emergency presents.

Oliver Escobar

Oliver Escobar

Dr Oliver Escobar is Senior Lecturer in Public Policy at the University of Edinburgh and Academic Lead on Democratic Innovation at the Edinburgh Futures Institute. He is co-investigator in the projects European Smart Urban Intermediaries and Distant Voices, and a former director of What Works Scotland. Oliver works on participatory and deliberative democracy, with a focus on political inequalities and the governance of the future. He combines research and practice to develop social and democratic innovations across various policy and community contexts. Oliver’s work has been shared in fifty publications, including the new Handbook of Democratic Innovation and Governance, and forty training courses for students and practitioners across the public sector and civil society.

Liam Fowley

Liam Fowley

Liam was elected in June 2019 to represent Kilmarnock and Irvine Valley in the Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP), and represents young people on the Stewarding Group. Liam is also a Trustee of SYP and convener of their Education committee. SYP is the democratically elected voice of Scotland’s Young People, formed of over 160 elected Members (MSYPs) representing every young person aged 14-25 in Scotland. Liam leads SYPs national campaign that represents the views of young people on the reduction of pollution levels in Scotland, called ‘Pack It Up, Pack It In’. He is currently Studying Food, Nutrition and Textiles Education at the University of the Highlands and Islands and hopes to go into teaching upon completing his degree.

Doreen Grove

Doreen Grove

Doreen leads the Scottish Government’s involvement in the Open Government Partnership at both a National and International level. In Scotland, Open Government supports the reform of public services, the renewal of democracy, promotes openness, transparency and the use of innovative participative processes to help transform how people interact with public services. Doreen moved into the Scottish Government Strategy Unit during the extraordinary times building up to the Independence Referendum, which as an Archaeologist and Historian, seemed a really interesting way to observe history first hand. The change has provided her with a broad perspective on the world in which we live and the systems that affect us over time.

Justin Kenrick

Justin Kenrick

Justin is an activist anthropologist working in Africa and Scotland on community resilience and community lands. He is one of Extinction Rebellion Scotland's representatives on the Stewarding Group. Justin seeks to help enable the level of transformation required to avoid the worst of the climate crisis, by enabling the best in ourselves. He has engaged in Transition community climate initiatives, including in Portobello, where he lives. Justin chairs Action Porty which led the first successful urban community right to buy in Scotland. He works as Senior Policy Advisor at Forest Peoples Programme supporting forest communities to regain their land rights to sustain and renew their culture and lands.

Kirsten Leggatt

Kirsten is an operational volunteer with the 2050 Climate Group and is Chair of their Leaders Network and represents young people on the Stewarding Group. Professionally, she is a carbon & sustainability consultant for Sweco and a tutor on the online Carbon Management Masters at the University of Edinburgh. In her spare time she is heavily involved as a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Ambassador teaching students and young people about the causes and consequences of climate change. Most recently, in January 2020, she was the voice of youth and presented evidence to Climate Assembly UK on the solutions to reaching the UK Government's net-zero emissions target by 2050.

Angus MacDonald

Angus is a Scottish SNP politician, and has been MSP for Falkirk East since 2011.

Audrey MacDougall

Audrey MacDougall

Dr Audrey MacDougall FAcSS is the Scottish Government’s Chief Social Researcher and Deputy Director in charge of Communities Analysis Division (CAD). Her role as Chief Social Researcher means she is responsible for the recruitment and development of social researchers, the quality of research produced and the promotion of social research across Government. In CAD she directs a multidisciplinary division providing social and operational research, economic and statistical analysis covering housing, poverty, equalities, regeneration and social security. Audrey brings her expertise in research, her analytical perspective and strategic overview to the Climate Assembly Stewarding Group. She is also a member of the Citizens' Assembly of Scotland steering group and oversees a major programme of research for that Assembly.

Jenny Marr

Jenny Marr

Jenny is from Selkirk in the Scottish Borders and studied Politics and International Relations at the University of Aberdeen before working for international oil company National Oilwell Varco Mission Products in customs and logistics. From there she spent time working for a Liberal Democrat MP and candidates across the North East of Scotland, with a focus on agriculture and the energy sector. She is now Chief of Staff to Christine Jardine MP and Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP. She was made the Scottish Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment last year, and brings knowledge from across the energy and agricultural sectors to the stewarding group.

Andrew McCornick

Andrew McCornick

Andrew, who is married with three sons and a daughter, was born and brought up on a dairy farm in Wigtown. Andrew and wife Janice farm their 230+ ha unit with 160 suckler cows and 600 breeding ewes with a small herd of pedigree Charolais cattle. Andrew's sons farm a tenanted unit in East Ayrshire which provides replacement breeding stock for Barnbackle. For as long as Andrew can remember, he has been a member of NFU Scotland, and got more involved when discussions on Nitrate Vulnerable Zones started. From there he went onto become vice chairman of the Dumfries branch, and then Regional Board Chairman for Dumfries and Galloway. Andrew was elected NFUS Vice President in February 2015 and President in 2017.

Scott McGrane

Scott McGrane

Dr McGrane is a lecturer in environmental change within the Department of Economics at the University of Strathclyde, where he is also a member of the Fraser of Allander Institute. He is also a visiting lecturer in the Applied Physics Department at Stanford University, California. His research addresses the impacts of climate change on freshwater resources, and the ramifications this has for economic activities and environmental regulations. Scott sits on the Stewarding Group representing the Fraser of Allander Institute, bringing policy expertise and academic insights into environment-economy interlinkages.

Andrew McRae

Andrew McRae

Chartered architect Andrew McRae is one of Edinburgh’s most prominent independent retailers. Andrew and his wife Alice employ 30 people in the UK, and ten more in Hong Kong. After graduating from Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) he joined one of the city’s most successful architectural practices and was conservation architect for the Signet Library. He spent eight years working with John Lewis Partnership, starting as a schoolboy aged just 15. Drawing on professional experience in design and conservation, Andrew developed a new retail concept in 2007 focusing on a curated collection of home interior and unusual gift ideas. Andrew represents the Federation of Small Businesses on the Stewarding Group, which he has been a member of since 2008.

Laura Moodie

Laura Moodie

Laura Moodie is the Scottish Green Party's representative on the Stewarding Group and is their lead candidate for the South Scotland region in the 2021 Holyrood elections. She is the co-ordinator of Midsteeple Quarter in Dumfries - an innovative community-led plan to reclaim the high street and create a sustainable living, working and creating space in the centre of the town. Laura lives on a smallholding near Borgue in Galloway with her husband and four children and serves as a community councillor and is a trustee of Massive Outpouring of Love (a charity that supports refugees, asylum seekers and displaced people in Dumfries & Galloway), Borgue Public Hall and Kirkcudbright Skatepark.

Jess Pepper

Jess Pepper is a climate advocate and Climate Reality leader.

Mike Robinson

Mike Robinson

Mike is the Chief Executive of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society (RSGS) based in Perth, a role he has held since 2008. He has worked in the Scottish charity and environment sector for 25 years, with RSPB and later the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh. Mike is dedicated to promoting climate change solutions and holds a number of voluntary roles, mostly for environment and human rights bodies, including as previous Chair of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS) and the Scottish Parliament's short life working group on annual targets and within the 2020 group. He sits on Government advisory groups for Air Passenger Duty, ScotRail and Arctic Strategy & on the Boards of Transform Scotland and Perth Leadership Forum. He currently co-chairs the independent inquiry Farming for 1.5 Degrees.

Jane Suiter

Jane Suiter

Dr Jane Suiter is an Associate Professor at Dublin City University. She is the senior Research Fellow on the Irish Citizens' Assembly on gender equality and is co-PI on the Irish Citizen Assembly (2016-2018) and the Irish Constitutional Convention (2012-2014) and a founder member of We the Citizens (2011), Ireland’s first deliberative experiment. She is a member of the Stewarding Group on the Scottish Citizens’ Assembly and a member of the OECD's FuutreDemcoracy network. She is also the RIA nominee on ALLEA's 'Fact or Fake' project on scientific disinformation. Jane has testified at the OECD, the European Parliament, the UN and the UNDP as well as the Oireachtas. She was the joint winner of the Brown Democracy Medal in 2019 and the President's Award for Research.

Sally Thomas

Sally Thomas

Sally Thomas is Chief Executive of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations. She is also a member of the Scottish government’s Homelessness Prevention Strategy Group, aiming to end homelessness in Scotland, and the new national Social Renewal Advisory Board, established by government to drive progress towards a fairer, more equal Scotland in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. As well as affordable housing, she brings experience of and expertise in community-based regeneration, planning, social investment, grant funding and social policy. She was a founding member of Tyne and Wear Citizens, the citizens’ assembly for the North East of England and has also co-authored several publications for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Chartered Institute of Housing, think-tanks and government departments.