The members come from a variety of professional backgrounds.

Please note that the positions on the Scotland Advisory Committee are not remunerated.


Seona Reid, member of Scotland Advisory Committee

Seona Reid

Seona has served as Chair of the Scotland Advisory Committee since 2019 and until recently, as a Trustee of the British Council. She is currently Vice Chair of Wasps Artists Studios. Seona has served as Director of the Glasgow School of Art, and of the Scottish Arts Council, serving on a range of boards including as Chair of the National Theatre of Scotland, and Scotland's Commissioner on the US-UK Fulbright Commission. Seona was awarded a DBE in 2014 for services to the creative industries.

Beth Bate

Beth Bate is Director of Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA). With large-scale gallery spaces, cinemas, a print studio and an award-winning learning programme, DCA attracts over 380,000 visits a year. Previously Beth was Director of Great North Run Culture in Newcastle and a consultant on curatorial and advocacy projects with The British Museum, Arts Council England, and Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums. She is a Clore Fellow and a Trustee of Edinburgh Art Festival and West Ward Works. 

Natasha Gilmore

Natasha Gilmore is the founder and Artistic Director of Barrowland Ballet, one of Scotland’s most exciting and successful contemporary dance companies. An internationally respected choreographer for dance theatre and film, Natasha’s work has toured to six continents. Natasha is passionate about working inter-generationally and she has been recognised with international acclaim for her practice in contemporary dance work with and for neuro-diverse audiences and children with complex needs.

Janette Harkess

Janette Harkess is Director of External Relations for the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. A former journalist, she was Head of Media for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and previously Director of Policy and Research for the Scottish Council for Development and Industry. She is on the board of National Theatre of Scotland and an honorary Vice President of the Journalists' Charity. She has served as a Commissioner to the Poverty Truth Commission in Scotland.


Asif Kahn

Asif Khan

Asif is the Director of the Scottish Poetry Library. He is an associate of Arts Council England’s Powerbrokers International Leadership Programme. Previous roles include senior national policy advisor for the Bicentenary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade cultural commemoration and lead officer for Bristol’s programme in support of European Year of Intercultural Dialogue. Asif hails from Dundee and studied film with marketing at the University of Stirling.

Dr Gary Kerr

Gary is an Associate Professor in Festival & Event Management at Edinburgh Napier University and the Business School’s Academic Lead for Innovation & Enterprise. He is a Curator with Cheltenham Festivals, and Chair of the Board of Trustees at Sonic Bothy, providing opportunities for musicians with additional learning needs. He is a Non-Exec Director of Newmilns Sports Complex, and an Independent Prisons Monitor. Gary is a Member of the Young Academy of Scotland and the Global Young Academy.

Steven Kidd

Steven is passionate about participation and has been active in this area since his teenage years, being a founder member and former Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament. Professionally, his expertise is in the youth and community sector, having led the Glasgow 2014 Education Programme, worked on learner voice at Learning and Teaching Scotland (now Education Scotland). Steven is currently working in child rights education for Unicef UK and is a non-executive director of YouthBank Scotland.

Alan Mackay

Alan Mackay

Alan Mackay is Deputy Vice-Principal International and Director, Edinburgh Global at the University of Edinburgh. He provides strategic leadership on internationalisation and works with senior leaders to advance the University’s international ambition and partnership.  Alan has over twenty years of experience in international higher education, he was appointed Deputy Vice-Principal, International in 2012, and prior to joining the University he worked for the University of St Andrews. 

Dr Bill Maxwell

Now working as an educational consultant, Bill retired as Chief Executive of Education Scotland and HM Chief Inspector of Education for Scotland in June 2017. After an initial career in educational psychology, he joined the Scottish education inspectorate in the mid-90s, where he worked across Scotland. Bill became HM Chief inspector for Wales in 2008. Two years later he returned to the Scottish Inspectorate, before leading the creation of Education Scotland.

Robert Palmer

Robert is an expert consultant and a former Director of Culture, Cultural and Natural Heritage at the Council of Europe. Robert has worked as an independent advisor for over 30 years, for governments and organisations globally on cultural development, regeneration, cultural tourism, festivals and policy. He has also been a consultant to cultural foundations, networks, arts organisations, and intergovernmental bodies such as the European Cultural Foundation, the European Commission and UNESCO.