Our leadership team

Members of the Board are appointed by Scottish Ministers and have a collective responsibility for the proper conduct of SDS affairs.

They are not appointed as representatives of individual organisations and are expected to use the experience and knowledge gained in their own careers when taking decisions on behalf of SDS.

The members are drawn from a range of backgrounds in the private and public sectors.

Link to the Board minutes.

John F. McClelland CBE - Chair

Board Member

John has extensive experience across the private and public sector. He was President of 3Com’s Business Networks Company and prior to that Global Chief Industrial Officer and Board Member of Philips Consumer Electronics. Earlier in his career he was Vice President of Worldwide Operations for IBM’s personal computer company before joining Digital Equipment Corporation as a Senior Vice President.

Agnes Valentine

Board Member

Agnes Valentine has significant experience at IT Director level within Financial Services organisations and within the public sector via Management Services Consultancy.

Beth Corcoran

Board Member

Elizabeth Corcoran is a qualified accountant with over twenty years’ experience at Board level in both public and commercial sectors.

Carol Evans

Board Member

Carol Evans has over 20 years’ experience of education, stakeholder engagement, strategic leadership and leading and driving change in complex organisations in the private, public and third sector.

Christine Pollock CBE

Board Member

Christine Pollock CBE is a former Director of Learning and Leisure Services in North Lanarkshire Council, responsible for statutory education, early years provision, community learning and development, library and cultural services, sport and leisure.

Damien Yeates - Chief Executive

Board Member

Damien has been the Chief Executive of Skills Development Scotland (SDS) since its inception in 2008; overseeing the ambitious merger of four public bodies into one.

Donald Boyd

Board Member

Donald is a partner and Chartered Accountant at Campbell Dallas, a firm of Independent Accountants specialising in Audit and Commercial Advisory.

Grahame Smith

Board Member

Grahame Smith is the General Secretary of the Scottish TUC, a position he has held since 2006.

Helen Robertson

Board Member

Helen is the External Relations Director at eCom Scotland, a learning solutions company, with over 20 years of experience in delivering innovative learning technologies.

Nazim Hamid

Board Member

Nazim Hamid brings over 20 years’ experience and expertise across the public and voluntary sector, having worked from grassroots community groups to hold professional positions in local government and notional agencies.

Seonag Mackinnon

Board Member

Seonag Mackinnon has had a lifelong interest in the welfare of young people.

Willie Mackie

Board Member

Willie Mackie is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland and brings to the board a background in the Ayrshire and Arran area and in the college sector.

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