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Our Board Members

Our Board Members

Trish Caimbeul Botten

Trish has recently finished working as Principal Officer, Cultural and Information Services, for Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council) – working on the transformation of Museum nan Eilean as part of the HLF Lews Castle Project. Working closely with the local Comain Eachdraidh, Education, Arts and Tourism - the project has explored the concept of what it means to be a Gaelic essence 21st century heritage service.

Trish brings nearly 40 years of experience of working in a local government context developing library, museum, archives and archaeology services and keeping their profile high in challenging economic times. She has also worked at national and regional level as Youth and Schools Adviser at the Library Association (now CILIP) and Learning and Skills Manager at MLA South East.

Her career has always been about embedding cultural services at the heart of communities and working in external partnerships to develop national policies for the sector, and literacy and learning products to engage new audiences.

Vivienne Cockburn

Vivienne is Director of Corporate Services and Low Carbon at Scottish Futures Trust where she is responsible for both corporate services, including ICT and Finance; and, the development of low carbon infrastructure investment programmes including street lighting, district heating and non-domestic energy efficiency. She is a qualified chartered accountant who spent 16 years within the accountancy profession in both management consultancy and project finance roles before becoming Finance Director of Caledonian Economics, a specialist economic and financial consultancy practice.

She is Vice-Chair of Berwickshire Housing Association and sits on their Finance & Audit Committee and represents the Association on the Programme Board of Hoprigshiels Windfarm, their JV with Community Energy Scotland.

Bob Downie

In May 1998 Bob was asked to set up and manage the charitable trust that now owns, maintains, and operates the Royal Yacht Britannia as a five-star visitor attraction and venue for exclusive evening events.

In 2012 he was Vice Chair of the Scottish Tourism Leadership Group that developed the new tourism strategy for Scotland, and he wrote the vision statement, mirroring the approach he takes at Britannia: “A Destination of First Choice, for a High Quality, Value for Money, and Memorable Experience, Delivered by Skilled and Passionate People”.

Prior to joining Britannia, for thirteen years he worked for the Scottish Development Agency (SDA) and its successor Scottish Enterprise. This was primarily in property management and urban development roles, though for the last four years he was in charge of tourism for Edinburgh & Lothians. In this later role he was heavily involved in the regeneration of Edinburgh’s Old Town. He also Chaired the public sector’s involvement in the Tall Ships Race when it came to Edinburgh in 1995, and for three years he Chaired the Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations.

He is a former Head Boy of Oban High School, and has a BA in Public Administration, and a MSc in Urban Development. Whilst at school he Captained the North of Scotland Senior Schools Rugby XV, and played representative rugby for Edinburgh District U18s, and Glasgow District U21s. He is also a Non Executive Board Member of Edinburgh College.

Ruth Gill

As Director of Public Programmes at National Museums Scotland, Ruth holds the responsibility to lead on public engagement and content generation for over 2.25 million visitors every year. She manages learning and events programming, community engagement, displays, design, technical, exhibitions and touring functions.  

She is also the Project Director for the Masterplan at the National Museum of Scotland, successfully launching the penultimate phase of ten new galleries with associated digital and learning programmes in 2016. 

Before this post, she was at Historic Royal Palaces leading the creative programme and Interpretation Department, delivering projects such as Kensington Palace, the Crown Jewel representation, and Henry 500.  She has worked for an exhibition specialist consultancy – Fraser Randall Productions – on many projects including Thinktank science centre, Birmingham, in the capacity of Content and Curatorial Director. She has experience of working in museums, theatre and heritage sectors.

Ruth was selected as one of the 50 ‘Women to Watch in the Creative and Cultural Sector’, by the Arts Council and Cultural Leadership Programme in March 2010 and is a member of the National Trust’s Collections and Interpretation Advisory Group, and a Board member of Edinburgh Art Festival.

Professor Donna Heddle

Professor Donna Heddle is based at Orkney and Shetland Colleges at the University of the Highlands and Islands. As well as serving on several UHI Committees Donna has a number of roles in both the Scottish and international academic and cultural arena, including past-Chair of the MLA International Scottish Studies Group and past-Director of HiArts. Donna is the author of a number of publications and gained her PhD in Renaissance Scots Literature from the University of Edinburgh. In June 2013, Donna was awarded a personal chair by the University of the Highlands and Islands.


Sir John Leighton

Sir John Leighton studied Fine Art at the University of Edinburgh and Edinburgh College of Art, and History of Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art. He taught art history at Edinburgh before being appointed in 1986 as Curator of 19th-century paintings at the National Gallery in London, a post he held for over ten years.

He was Director of the Van Gogh Museum from 1997 until his appointment as Director-General of the National Galleries of Scotland in March 2006. At the Van Gogh Museum he was responsible for the world’s most important collection of Van Gogh and one of Europe’s leading collections of 19th century art.

He has curated numerous exhibitions including Caspar David Friedrich’s Winter Landscapes (1990), Art in the Making: Impressionism (1990), Seurat’s Bathers (1997) Signac (2001) and Manet and the Sea (2004), contributed to the catalogues for the above exhibitions, and published and lectured on various aspects of 19th and 20th-century art.

Since his appointment as Director-General, the National Galleries of Scotland has made a number of notable acquisitions including Titian’s Diana and Actaeon and the ARTIST ROOMS collection. In recognition of his contribution to the arts, he was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Edinburgh in 2009 and a Knighthood in December 2012.

Ray Macfarlane - Chair

Ray Macfarlane graduated MA, LLB, MBA from the University of Glasgow and began her career as a solicitor in private practice. A former Senior Director of HBOS plc and Managing Director of Scottish Enterprise, Ray is now Chairman of the Scottish Legal Aid Board.  She has held a variety of non-executive posts in the public and private sectors and was formerly a Trustee and Deputy Chair of the National Galleries of Scotland, Chairman of Scottish Screen and Deputy Chairman of the Scottish Arts Council. For the past 7 years she has served as Chair of Scotland’s Recognition Scheme, which celebrates, promotes and invests in Scotland’s Nationally Significant Collections.

Bill McDonald  

Bill McDonald is a member of the UK and Ireland Leadership Team in Accenture’s Operations, BPO business and is also the Managing Director of Scotland for Accenture. A qualified accountant (FCMA), Bill has specialised in Finance and Accounting Outsourcing in his 18 years with Accenture, looking after clients in fields as diverse as Oil and Gas; Telecommunications and Media and Entertainment. Prior to this Bill spent 14 years in the Energy Industry in a number of senior finance roles. Bill has been a Board Member on a number of Cultural Organisations including MacRobert Arts Centre and Arts and Business, Scotland.

Diana Montador

Diana has held global leadership roles in both Silicon Valley and Europe for companies including Skype, Microsoft, eBay, and Yahoo!  She has expertise in developing a B2B and B2C research and insight for major brands to help inform product development and marketing strategies in both established and emerging markets. 

Currently Director of Montador Consulting, Diana's clients include businesses such as Facebook and Skyscanner.  Diana acts as a virtual board member for six businesses coming out of the University of Edinburgh.  She also advises and mentors small businesses and startups.   

Published 02 August 2016