David C Watt, Chair
David Watt is the former Executive Director of the Institute of Directors (IoD) in Scotland and continues to work in a variety of non-executive roles in the public, private and third sectors.
His IoD experience brings knowledge of business and commerce as well as governance, while much of his prior working life was in sport, education, and business. David has served on a wide range of Government Advisory Boards and Task Forces over the years, as well as being a regular contributor to Parliamentary Committees. He has also served on the boards of Scottish and British Gymnastics, Basketball Scotland and Fife Sport and Leisure Trust. In addition, he is the first non-military person to have been awarded the title of Honorary Colonel of the Royal Marines Reserves.
David, who was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Edinburgh Napier University, is driven by a vision and a desire for positive transformation, he is a strong advocate of good governance and equality and diversity on boards.
David is passionate about economic empowerment and education, and as Chair of Fife College, he draws on his extensive experience and expertise to help nurture and transform the College and position it as one of Scotland’s leading, innovative, and successful further and higher education providers.
Antony Martin, Depute Chair
Antony Martin was born and raised in Sussex came to Scotland in 1968 and moved to Fife in 1976, his career was in the clothing industry running a fashion agency for 30 years, was a local councillor from 1992 and 2017 representing the Dunfermline South ward. He has a particular interest in further education, principally its role in economic development. Antony has dedicated the last 30 years to the service of communities across the Kingdom of Fife, channelling energy into supporting widening access to education and skills for those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
During his time as a councillor he was Chair of Opportunities Fife Partnership which promotes skills and training in Fife. Antony also served on the Forth Estuary Transport Authority and its predecessor The Forth Road Bridge Joint Board for 20 years, and during that time served as Convener for 4 years. He has gained valuable experience and insight serving on several boards including South East Scotland Transport Authority, Dunfermline Delivers and Frontline Fife Homelessness services.
Hobbies are bowling ,member of the Open History Society , the University of the Third age and playing the guitar.
His passion for improving skills, training and educational opportunities for all encouraged him to apply for board membership.
In his retirement Antony is keen to share his knowledge and expertise to help our learners get the most out of their Fife College experience.
Hugh Hall, Principal and Chief Executive
Hugh was born and raised in the east end of Glasgow although now resides on the East coast. He is a chartered accountant, with expertise in transformational change, governance and major project development and delivery.
He has been Principal of Fife College since 2017 and has held a number of senior appointments in a wide range of organisations including Chief Operating Officer at the University of Strathclyde, Chief Financial Officer at Scottish Enterprise and Chief Strategy Officer at Scottish Homes.
His non-executive roles past and present include Member of Court at Edinburgh Napier University, Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy in Scotland, Chair of Forth Valley College, Chair of Colleges Scotland, Chair of Scotland’s Children’s Lottery and Chair of Historic Environment Scotland.
Hugh’s life has been devoted to public service. He has a passion for equality and diversity and creating opportunities for all.
Mike Boyle has had an extensive career in Financial Services within Scotland. A graduate of Edinburgh University, Mike began his career with Bank of Scotland and has experience across a wide range of disciplines including Marketing, Risk Management and Data Management, holding Senior Leadership roles in each discipline.
Until recently Mike worked at Clydesdale Bank where he initiated and led the centralisation of all reporting functions and then created the Group equivalent on the purchase of Virgin Money. A keen supporter of continuous learning, he also holds a post-graduate business degree from Durham University.
A resident of Dunfermline for over 20 years, Mike believes Scotland has fantastic potential in our people, our environment and key industries, such as Financial Services and Data. He is passionate about a future where we create a more balanced set of skills - blending academic and vocational courses - and crucially giving people more entrepreneurial skills to build a sound and self-sustaining economy for the future and creating valuable careers for students.
Mike has significant experience of transformational change and is keen to see Fife College grow and prosper so that it delivers across the full range of its ambitious targets.
Drew was elected to the non-teaching staff position on the Board in September 2021 and works as part of the Health and Safety team within Fife College. Due to the nature of his role he regularly meets with a wide range of colleagues across all campuses including the learning centres within the Scottish Prison Service system as well as commercial clients and organisations which are linked to Fife College. Drew is keen to ensure that their concerns and viewpoints are represented.
Originally from the west of Scotland, Drew’s working life started as an apprentice in Commercial Vehicle Engineering at Glasgow Airport and he worked there for a number of years before moving into logistics and public hire as a Transport Manager. Drew joined Adam Smith College (Fife College's predecessors) in 2007 and has had various roles within the college, mainly in commercial and educational health and safety training and also in an advisory capacity on the prisons contract.
Drew is keen to learn about the wider focus of the college and contribute his expertise and knowledge gathered from his varied career. In his spare time Drew enjoys being what he calls “a fair weather cyclist” as well as seeing the world, discovering the “Kingdom” and when possible, travelling back to the East End of Glasgow to watch his favourite football team.
Garry Dickson MCIPD
Garry has 35 years of experience in HR across both the private and public sectors, the most recent of which has been over 12 years in a strategic HR and transformation role for NatWest Group. Garry is also a chartered member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD) and is the Regional Facilitator for the CIPD in Scotland.
Garry has links with the college as a former student of the college, having successfully completed qualifications in accounting, computing and his full CIPD qualification with us. Garry is passionate about lifelong learning and continuous professional development and regularly volunteers his time to help CIPD members with Conferences and Events. Garry is chair of our People and Culture Committee.
His passion for lifelong learning has seen him recently take up freshwater kayaking and photography.
Pamela has worked in the Education sector for eight years with a primary focus on widening access to further and higher education, and an interest in social justice.
Pamela worked for the University of St Andrews Admissions Team for five years, where she co-led the access portfolio. Pamela also led on corporate parenting strategies and support for care experienced students for the university. Pamela then became a Senior Policy Analyst for the Scottish Funding Council, where she provided support with the remit of the Access, Skills and Outcome Agreement team. Pamela is currently the Medical Admissions Manager at the University of St Andrews.
Pamela is on the Board of Apex Scotland and Project Change and volunteers as a member of the Children's Panel.
Pamela has an interest in education-based research, particularly around closing the attainment gap. In her spare time, Pamela enjoys travelling, hillwalking, and taking part in charity long distance walks.
Brian Fisher has over 30 years’ experience within the financial services sector gathered from his time working with Aegon. Initially focussed on actuarial / financial modelling he then moved into business change management. Brian was Head of Change (Shared Services) for the Aegon UK office before taking on a global project role at their group offices in The Netherlands.
Through working both in the UK and Europe, Brian brings with him the experience of leading multicultural teams and working in a dynamic. Between 2013 and 2020 Brian worked independently, providing project management services to the UK insurance sector.
A born and bred Fife resident, he attended Woodmill High school as a child and now works with the New Build Project Board (whose remit is to ensure it is delivered within budget, on schedule and to the appropriate specification). In his spare time Brian is a keen golfer and he also enjoys gardening and DIY.
Tali (Natalie) Fisher
Tali is the Student President of Welfare and Equality for the Fife College Students’ Association and her role within the board is to bring the voices of students to the foreground in topics surrounding their welfare to the board.
Tali was born profoundly Deaf and got a cochlear implant to assist her hearing and is a British Sign Language (BSL) user. She has faced barriers and discrimination in her personal and professional life; therefore, she wants to improve understanding around deaf issues and is promoting the introduction of BSL and Deaf Awareness workshops within Fife College.
Her voice will be instrumental in providing our board with an understanding of the barriers students can face in gaining access and ensuring that all are supported within the college.
She is currently studying HNC legal services part-time at Fife College and achieved a BA degree in Visual Communication at Fife College in 2017. Tali used to volunteer her time at her local Citizens Advice Bureau. She has a general knowledge of legal and people’s right in their everyday life. In her spare time, she studies the Japanese language and does yoga at home, and she also loves playing video games.
Stacey’s career path spans over 33 years in the hospitality and tourism sector, her early career saw her in operations and then she progressed into sales and marketing. Most recently she has been in a group operations director role in the highlands of Scotland for a collection of hotels on the NC500. Stacey brings a range of skills that includes transformational change, operating in remote and community led locations, technology implementation, creating guest journey excellence, and people and culture strategies.
With a love for all things hospitality, particularly in luxury hotels Stacey has great a good industry network, a previous link to the college where she was a lecturer in hospitality as well as studying at Dunfermline campus as a hospitality student at the very beginning of her career.
More recently, Stacey has developed motivation for promoting this wonderful and diverse industry though schools and colleges to develop accessible pathways especially for young people.
Evelyn McPhail, Senior Independent Member
Evelyn was appointed to the Board as a non executive member and was thereafter elected by the Board to the role of Senior Independent Member. The role of the senior independent member is to provide a sounding board for the chair and to serve as an intermediary for the principal, other board members and the board secretary when necessary
Evelyn was until her retirement in July 2019, the Director of Pharmacy and Medicines for NHS Fife and the Fife Integrated Joint Board of the Health and Social Care Partnership and was responsible for providing strategic and clinical leadership, working with partner organisations on the delivery and development of pharmaceutical services for the people of Fife.
Through Evelyn’s career in pharmacy she has gained a wealth of experience of transformational change. Evelyn was awarded the Scottish Pharmacy Lifetime Achievement Award in November 2019 for her work in Pharmacy and the public sector.
Her non-executive roles include six years as a Council member of the General Pharmaceutical Council and is currently a member of the Board of NHS Healthcare Improvement Scotland.
Evelyn’s interests include circuit and weight training, reading and exercising her two dogs.
Susan Mitchell has a background in both private industry and the public sector. Originally trained as a teacher, developing a strong belief in the power of education, Susan found her career calling within retail management where she worked for Marks & Spencer and Boots within the finance sector of those organisations. Susan joined Lothian & Borders Police as Head of Business Management and over the following years rose to the position of Director of Corporate Services in the amalgamated Police Service of Scotland.
Much of Susan's experience has been focused on delivering transformational change and leading in a financially challenging context. With an MSc in Public Leadership from Warwick Business School, Susan is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy and is currently the Chief Operating Officer at Glasgow Caledonian University.
Her excellent track record of delivering great results in challenging contexts, and her passion for education that can transform lives, makes Susan an ideal person for our board to provide us with guidance in the coming years. Susan is chair of our Audit and Risk Committee.
Gordon Mole is Fife Council’s Head of Business and Employability, having joined the Council in early 2016. He is the Council’s senior lead for Employability, Economic Development, economic policy, town centres, and tourism. Gordon leads on the development of Fife projects for the Edinburgh and South East Scotland and Tay Cities Deals, and is the lead for Community Wealth Building activity.
Gordon has a particular interest in better collaborative working between national, local, and third sector agencies for employability and employer engagement and chairs the Opportunities Fife Partnership Employer Engagement Delivery Group. He is a board member of Developing the Young Workforce Fife, and a former Director of the Institute of Economic Development.
Throughout his career he has looked to improve the working lives of young people with new apprenticeships and graduate training, as well as looking at employment initiatives for major construction programmes. He has also provided policy advice to local, regional and national government on the Work Programme, re-use of electronic waste, social enterprise and employment of military veterans.
Outside work, Gordon is an active member of Round Table Britain & Ireland, sitting on the RTBI National Council and is a trustee of a development charity, African Outreach.
Samantha is one of our Non-Executive Board members and provides us with her insight towards our policymaking and planning strategies, developed over her varied career. She has worked in a number of diverse organisations, Bank of Scotland, ECS, Sainsbury’s, McEwan Fraser and Aegon in areas such as IT, property, legal and financial services. She is particularly interested in organisational strategy, and is passionate about the benefits of further education, particularly the need to move to a more digital society, while maintaining a view to diverse needs - bringing opportunities to all, regardless of background or demographic. Samantha supports the College in its Vision to transform the lives of its students through inspirational learning and teaching.
As a lifelong learner herself, and a working mum, Samantha is well placed to promote the need for a flexible approach to learning, while ensuring that both the needs and risks of the future are factored into college strategy.
Phillip is the Europe and Australia Regional Leader for Thornton Tomasetti, a global multidisciplinary consulting engineering firm. A Chartered Physicist and a graduate of Dundee University, Phillip has over a thirty three year career, specialised in the design and protection of structures from extreme loading including blast loading on buildings from terrorist attack. He is currently responsible for all of Thornton Tomasetti’s work in Europe and Australia which includes structures, infrastructure, facades, sustainability, decarbonisation, defence and security projects.
Splitting his time between UK and Australian offices, his teams have been involved in many prominent international projects including the European Central Bank, Wimbledon Court No 1 and several Parliament buildings in the UK and Australia.
Phillip sits on several advisory committees at international and national level advising government in areas of defence and security and regularly advises overseas companies and governments in structural survivability. He is currently Chair of the Fife Economy Partnership Innovation Group.
Originally from Newcastle, he was educated in Dundee, he has been a resident of Fife for over 31 years and currently lives in Markinch.
Zoe Thomson is Improvement Officer for Equity at Fife Council. She has been teaching in Scotland for 18 years.
Zoe studied Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh, followed by a PGCE in Mathematics from Moray House.
Zoe began teaching Mathematics in Edinburgh before moving to Fife. She has been a Depute Head teacher here for 6 years.
Emma is President of Education and Representation for Fife College Students’ Association, and with a diverse student population in Fife College, her role is to represent the student voice at all levels, to ensure that students have the best learner journey possible.
As a young single Mum, Emma has studied various courses at Fife College such as Media, Radio, Social Sciences and Education Support Assistance. Emma has been involved with a wide variety of projects within our FCSA covering Health and Wellbeing, Representation, through to Awards events. In 2020, Emma achieved an honours degree in Applied Psychology from Glasgow Caledonian University. Outside of work, Emma is an avid video gamer and regularly attends aerial sports classes.
Using her experience and passions, Emma wants to make sure the student’s voice is heard when policies or strategies are being devised for the college.