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Board members

Our Board members together make decisions relating to the strategic direction of our organisation on behalf of Scottish Ministers.

Read brief biographies of our Board members to discover the skills and experience that each brings to Scottish Natural Heritage.

You can view the level of remuneration awarded to Board members in our annual report and accounts.

Dr Mike Cantlay OBE, Chair

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Dr Mike Cantlay OBE was appointed Chair of Scottish Natural Heritage in May 2017. He is also Chair of the Scottish Funding Council. Mike has over 25 years’ experience of public sector leadership and governance.

Mike is Chairman of William Glen Limited which trades in Scotland, Canada and USA, having previously been CEO of specialist retailers Hector Russell and The Whisky Shop. He has held several public appointments including Chair of Highlands and Islands Airport (HIAL) Limited; Chair of VisitScotland; Convener of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Authority; Chair of Scottish Enterprise Forth Valley; Chair of the Board of Management at Forth Valley College; Advisory Member of the Board of Scottish Enterprise and Ex-Officio Board Member of VisitBritain.

Mike studied at the University of Strathclyde, achieving a Bachelor of Arts in 1985 and then a Master of Business Administration in 1989. He received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Stirling in 2003 for services to tourism.

Dr Cantlay was awarded Public Sector Leader of the Year at the Scottish Leadership Awards 2012 and was made an OBE in 2014 for services to tourism. Mike was brought up in Callander, Perthshire where he and his family still live and care for 65 acre Callandrade Estate.

Contact: Mike Cantlay
c/o Executive Office
Scottish Natural Heritage
Great Glen House
Leachkin Road

Tel: c/o Shelley Rennie -  01463 725010

Cath Denholm, Deputy Chair

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Cath Denholm has over 20 years’ experience of NHS management and strategic roles in primary care, GP appraisal and public health.

Cath’s professional interests lie in strategy, change management and partnership working to achieve fair access for all and value for public money.

She joined NHS Health Scotland in 2005 and is now its Director of Strategy. This executive director role is Cath’s only other ministerial appointment.

Her responsibilities in this role include:

  • corporate strategy and performance
  • communications and public affairs
  • human resources/organisational development and business excellence
  • national leadership for human rights in health and social care

Cath has been a Board member of Voluntary Action Scotland since November 2015. She is a member of the Institute of Directors and a Fellow of the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce).

Cath will serve as a Board member of Scottish Natural Heritage until 31 March 2019.


Angus Campbell, Deputy Chair

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Angus Campbell has served for 17 years as a councillor, and is currently Leader of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.

Angus has a long history of engaging with the Scottish Government, UK Government and Europe on a range of issues.

As owner of two local companies on the Isle of Lewis, Angus employs more than 30 people.

In addition, Angus is a:

  • Board member of Western Isles Development Trust
  • director of Lewis Castle Trust
  • past member of the NHS Western Isles Health Board

Angus will serve as a Board member of Scottish Natural Heritage until 31 March 2019. He holds no other ministerial appointments.


Dr Kate Broughton

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Dr Kate Broughton has 30 years’ experience in research and the energy business, as a geologist and in the private sector.

When she worked for Edinburgh-based Wood Mackenzie, Kate was closely involved in the growth of the business. She brings to our Board her experience of strategic development and governance.

Kate’s financial acumen comes from working as a UK oil and gas analyst and from having budget responsibility for global research and operations teams.

She also has a strong track record in:

  • process improvement
  • product development
  • change management

Kate has a particular interest in efficient digital delivery and data management.

She was awarded a PhD in Geology by the University of Sheffield in 1991.

Kate will serve as a Board member of Scottish Natural Heritage until 31 March 2019. She holds no other ministerial appointments.


Professor Robert Furness

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Professor Robert Furness is Principal Ornithologist at MacArthur Green and a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Glasgow.

Much of Bob’s recent work relates to interactions between seabirds and marine renewables developments. Fisheries have been another chief focus.

Bob’s work has included:

  • a long-term study of seabirds in Shetland – with a focus on seabird-fishery interactions
  • being external chair of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) Benchmark Workshop on Sprat Stocks
  • assessing the sustainability of several major North American fisheries as part of the Marine Stewardship Council certification team
  • chairing the IAPEME – a panel of experts that oversees monitoring programmes for marine wind farms in Denmark

Bob remains an external expert to the ICES Benchmark Working Group on Sandeel Stocks.

He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Bob will serve as a Board member of Scottish Natural Heritage until 31 March 2019. He holds no other ministerial appointments.


Ian Gillies

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Ian Gillies lives on the island of Tiree and is an experienced land manager on a crofting and farming estate.

Not only does Ian add this perspective to our Board, but he also brings sound knowledge and experience of governance and community issues.

Ian served Argyll and Bute Council for 12 years as its Vice Chair of Education. His remit had a focus on:

  • island issues
  • information technology
  • modernising government

In 2012, Ian’s six-year term as a non-executive director of David MacBrayne Ltd came to an end. He served as a Board member of both CalMac Ferries and NorthLink Ferries during this time.

Ian continues to give his time to a number of charitable and community organisations.

He will serve as a Board member of Scottish Natural Heritage until 31 March 2019. Ian holds no other ministerial appointments.


Dr Jackie Hyland

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Dr Jackie Hyland is a consultant in public health medicine with NHS Tayside and has a particular focus on the environment.

Jackie has a strong track record in environmental protection and the promotion of biodiversity within the health sector. She regularly provides health advice to partner agencies and to communities.

She has published on:

  • environmental health management
  • engagement with stakeholders

Jackie is a member of the Scottish (Managed) Sustainable Health Network. She’s been closely involved in reviewing the evidence for improving health through sustainable development.

As well as tutoring at the University of Dundee, Jackie is preparing a thesis at the University of St Andrews. Her focus is air quality and health, and the socio-economic benefits of active travel.

Jackie qualified in Medicine at the University of Edinburgh.

Her only other ministerial appointment is as a Board member of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.

She will serve as a Board member of Scottish Natural Heritage until 31 March 2019.


Aoife Martin

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Aoife Martin is Registrar of Companies for Scotland, responsible for delivering the service across Scotland and also Northern Ireland.

Aoife is an experienced resource management professional. She recently returned to Scotland after spending 12 years working for the New Zealand Government in fisheries, forestry and land management.

Her most recent title was Director Spatial, Forestry and Land Management at the Ministry for Primary Industries in Wellington, New Zealand. But Aoife has worked across the public and private sector in both the UK and New Zealand. A role in the Seafish economics unit was one of her posts closer to home.

Born and raised in Dublin, Aoife holds a BA (Hons) degree in History and Geography from Trinity College, Dublin. She also has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh.

Aoife will serve as a Board member of Scottish Natural Heritage until 31 March 2019. She holds no other ministerial appointments.


Susan Murray

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Susan Murray has more than 20 years’ experience of working in public, private and third sector organisations.

Susan brings this experience to our Board and to her role as director of Agent M Ltd, a company that helps organisations to create social change.

She has volunteered widely, including with the National Trust for Scotland on conservation projects for eight years.

She is also a Trustee of the ICAS Foundation and a Clore Social Leadership Fellow.

Susan has studied at:

  • the University of Edinburgh
  • Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Aberdeen Business School

Susan will serve as a Board member of Scottish Natural Heritage until 31 March 2019.