Board Members

Scottish Book Trust is led by a strong Board of Trustees who bring a diverse range of professional skills and experience to the charity’s governance.

Keir Bloomer

Keir Bloomer (Chair)

Independent Education Consultant

Keir is the former Director of Education and Chief Executive of Clackmannanshire Council, a post from which he retired in May 2007. He is Chair of the Tapestry Partnership, a leading organisation in the field of teachers’ professional development. He is convener of the Education Committee of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and is the Chair of the Commission on School reform, being largely responsible for the writing of its influential report, By Diverse Means

As a member of the review group which wrote “A Curriculum for Excellence” (Scotland’s national curriculum), he has been closely involved with curriculum reform and recently chaired the Higher Order Skills Excellence Group.  He now undertakes curriculum and professional development work with the Scottish Government, local authorities, national agencies and schools.

Hilde Watne Frydnes 

Head of Product, Mallzee Insights Limited

Hilde brings a range of digital experience from local and global business success stories to the Scottish Book Trust. After getting a Master's Degree in Comparative Literature in her native Norway, Hilde started her marketing career in Google's EMEA headquarters in Dublin, developing digital advertising strategies for large businesses. She came to Edinburgh to join Scotland's first unicorn business, travel search engine Skyscanner and lead their paid search marketing. Hilde has since founded her own digital marketing consultancy, as well as worked with marketing and strategy at organisations like Macs Adventure, Edinburgh International Festival and Float. She currently leads the product and app development teams at fast-growing retail start-up Mallzee Insights, and volunteers on the Creative Edinburgh mentoring programme.

Willy Maley

Professor Willy Maley

Professor of English Literature, University of Glasgow

Willy Maley has published widely on Scottish literature and culture, including studies of Alasdair Gray, Janice Galloway, James Kelman, Muriel Spark and Irvine Welsh. In 2005 he edited The List Guide to the 100 Best Scottish Books of All Time with support from Scottish Book Trust. As a playwright, Willy is also a former Fringe First winner and has had work performed at the Arches, Pavilion, Tramway and Tron theatres.

Andy Marchant

Andy Marchant


Andy works with financial services companies, management consultants and charities on their business plans and marketing strategies. He previously held Managing Director and Marketing Director roles at Aegon, Direct Line and Royal Bank of Scotland during a 25-year career in retail financial services. His experience in strategy and innovation, customer experience management and product, channel and brand development includes launching the UK’s first internet banking service as well as the first online savings and loan accounts.

Fiona image

Fiona McLeod

Retired MSP & Librarian

Following a history degree at University of Glasgow, Fiona completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Librarianship at University of Strathclyde. She has worked in most library sectors but specialised in health. She was elected as a regional SNP MSP for West of Scotland 1999 – 2003. From 2011 – 16 she was the MSP for Strathkelvin & Bearsden, serving as acting Minister for Children and Young People 2014-15 to cover Aileen Campbell MSP's maternity leave. The first time that a minister had been given maternity leave. Fiona retired in 2016.   She was appointed to Ofcom's Scottish Advisory Committee 2004 - 06, was Chair of EDCPAC 2004 – 08 and Chair of SLIC 2011 – 14. In  2016 - 17 she was a member of the Commission on Parliamentary Reform.

James Saville

Director of People, Operations and Systems, UK Government Department for International Development

James has been the Director of People, Operations and Systems at the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID) for the past five years. His team were the 2015 Scottish HR Network team of the year for their response to the Ebola crisis for staff working in West Africa. James also won the Civil Service Diversity Award for Champion of Disability Issues in 2014 for his work on reducing workplace mental health stigma. James's early HR career was in food manufacturing. He subsequently held several senior HR roles at HBOS plc and ran his own business working with clients in the Financial Services and Oil and Gas sectors. He has previously worked as a Trustee with a drugs charity in Edinburgh and has been a mentor and coach to a number of Scottish-based small businesses.

Catherine Smith

Catherine Smith

Head of Strategy and member of the Executive Board, BBC Scotland

Catherine understands digital media and is experienced in interpreting markets and developing strategies, implementing business plans and monitoring their success across a range of industries. She is a former Head of Marketing at RBS, consultant with KPMG and award-winning advisor for Arts & Business.

Jackie Taylor (Treasurer)

Head of Finance, Institute of Chartered Accountants

Jackie is a qualified Chartered Accountant currently working for the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland as Finance Director. She previously headed up Finance and Corporate Services with the charity Elcap after working as Finance and Managing Director of James Thin booksellers. She has also had trustee and treasurer roles with both Book Trust (Scotland) and the EIBF.

Dr Rebekah Widdowfield

Dr Rebekah Widdowfield

Chief Executive, Royal Society of Edinburgh

Following a geography degree at the University of Oxford and PhD at the University of Newcastle, Rebekah worked for a number of years at the Universities of Bristol and Cardiff, researching homelessness, rural poverty and social exclusion. She joined the Scottish Government in 2001, working in a number of roles before becoming a senior civil servant in 2008 in which capacity she undertook roles covering rural and environmental science and analysis, social research (as Chief Researcher), higher education and housing.  Rebekah left Scottish Government in September 2017 to join the Royal Society of Edinburgh as Chief Executive. Outwith work, alongside reading, Rebekah enjoys hill-walking and jazz.