David C Watt, ChairDavid Watt was, until recently, Executive Director of the Institute of Directors (IoD) in Scotland. His IoD experience brings knowledge of business and commerce as well as governance, while much of his prior working life was in education.
Lifelong learning is a passion for David who also has extensive experience in both the public and voluntary sectors. He is a Director of a number of SMEs and an Honorary Colonel of the Royal Marines Reserves in Scotland.
Antony Martin, Depute Chair
Antony Martin was a local councillor in Fife between 1992 and 2017 representing a Dunfermline ward. He has a particular interest in further education particularly its role in economic development. He was Chair of Opportunities Fife Partnership which promotes skills and training in Fife during his time as an elected member.
Antony served on the Forth Estuary Transport Authority and its predecessor The Forth Road Bridge Joint Board for 20 years. Serving as Convener for 4 years.
He owned and managed a very successful fashion agency for 30 years representing many premium brands and giving him an inset to the pressure and difficulties working in the private sector.
Hugh Hall, Principal and Chief Executive
Hugh Hall was born and brought up in the east end of Glasgow and began his working life straight from school in the local Benefits Agency office in Easterhouse. Hugh is a chartered accountant, with expertise in transformational change, governance and major project development and delivery. His life has been devoted to public service. He has held a number of senior appointments in a wide range of organisations and was previously Chief Operating Officer at the University of Strathclyde. In 2009, he was awarded the Public Sector Finance Director of the Year award in recognition of his leadership role in the transformation of Scotland’s enterprise network.
His non-executive roles past and present include: eight years as a 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 and Chair of Scotland’s Children’s Lottery.
Jen Anderson enrolled as a Fife College student on HND Events Management in 2015. She was elected as President: Welfare and Equality for the Fife College Students' Association in 2017 and put her HND to good use organising many successful events for students across all five of the College campuses.
In November 2018, Jen became a full-time Customer Services Assistant at Fife College, where she enjoyed meeting students on a daily basis and helping direct them to the support they needed.
In October 2019, Jen took a secondment on a temporary basis until July 2022 to assist with the First Chances Fife project within the School College Partnership team to help create awareness and increase visibility.
Jen is a single parent to her young daughter and they enjoy spending time together on days out and creating memories.
Jen is delighted to return to the Fife College Board, and is keen to have the opportunity to help influence and support the College strategically.
Bob Black, Senior Independent Member
Bob Black is a geologist by profession, and has experience of mining (in Africa), engineering (in UK and Brasil) and the oil and gas sector (globally). As a technical director for Royal Dutch Shell (Kazakhstan) and BG Group (Brasil) he managed very large projects, focussing on project management, contracts and tendering, and risk analysis.
He was also a senior technical recruiter for several years in Shell, and has shared this experience with students in Fife College.
Following retirement in 2012, Bob joined the Scottish Children's Panel (for 5 years) and became a Board member of Fife College where he is now into his 6th year of governance activities. He was previously Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee, and has contributed to Director entry training in Audit and Risk management with Colleges Scotland.
Bob has 3 grownup children and with 8 grandchildren approaching senior schools level, remains keenly interested in education and the future world of employment for young people.
Jade Burnett is the Student President Welfare and Equality for the Fife College Students’ Association. She has been a student at Fife College for the past three years completing Scottish Highers and an HND in Social Sciences, continuing on to study a BA Hons Degree through the Open University and Fife College partnership.
Patrick Carnie joined Babcock in 2013, leading long term growth initiatives in Offshore Energy and Marine sectors.
He represents Babcock in Maritime Research and Innovation UK (MarRI-UK), Scottish Maritime Cluster, Scottish Chambers of Commerce, ADS(Scotland) and in UKNEST (Naval Engineering Science and Technology).
Motivated to grow sustainable high value jobs in the UK maritime sector, Patrick is responsible for long term value development. He delivers strategic analysis and plans; advice on new market offerings; and acquisition, change and communications programs.
Patrick is best known for establishing the UK’s first Marine Industries Growth Strategy, and as a co-author of “Global Marine Trends 2030”. Patrick previously led maritime sector marketing and business planning for QinetiQ. A Naval Architecture graduate (University of Strathclyde, 1992), his technical career was with YARD, the UK Ministry of Defence and the Canadian Navy.
Shona Cochrane has been working with skills based thinking, learning and enterprise programmes for many years.
Shona is an experienced educationalist and author. As a teacher, Shona has taught in London, Malaysia and Glenrothes High School and Queen Anne High School in Fife. She has also been an Enterprise in Education Adviser and National Curriculum Adviser with Skills Development Scotland (formerly Careers Scotland).
After achieving an M.Ed Pupil Support in 2005, Shona went on to have her book on study skills, ‘Learn to Learn’, published in 2012 and she introduced the ‘Learn to Learn’ and ‘Reflective Thinking’ programmes at Queen Anne High School. Shona’s interests include skiing and classic cars.
Garry Dickson MCIPD
Garry has over 30 years of experience in HR across both the private and public sectors, the most recent of which has been nearly 10 years in a strategic HR role for NatWest Group. Garry is also a chartered member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD) and is the Chair of the Mid Scotland Branch. Garry is 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.
Sarah Ferguson is the Student President Education and Representation for the Fife College Students’ Association.
Sarah previously worked in the Fife College Funding Team, and thereafter with the Student Experience and Engagement Team as an administration assistant.
Sarah is a young single mum who has been studying, working and volunteering through Fife College for the last 3 years. She has just completed an HND in Accounting. Sarah is passionate about education and making it great for our next generations!
Brian Fisher has over 30 years’ experience within the financial services sector. Initially focussed on actuarial / financial modelling he then moved into business change management. Brian was Head of Change (Shared Services) for the UK office of a large insurance group before taking on a global project role at their group offices in The Netherlands.
Through working both in the UK and Europe, Brian brings experience of leading multicultural teams and working in a dynamic environment with competing local and group wide priorities. Over the past 15 years he has principally focussed on the implementation of complex change (such as new regulation and capital efficiency) within the finance, risk and legal areas.
Since 2013 Brian has worked independently, providing project management services to the UK insurance sector.
Pamela’s career to date has focused on increasing access to further and higher education for those from disadvantaged and underrepresented backgrounds.
Pamela worked for the University of St Andrews Admissions and Access Team for five years, where she co-led the access portfolio, including developing and consolidating the First Chances Fife programme. Pamela also led on corporate parenting strategies and support for care experienced students for the university. In 2019, Pamela entered the role of Senior Policy Analyst for the Scottish Funding Council, where she supported the development and funding of access programmes, and provided support with the remit of the Access, Skills and Outcome Agreement team. In 2020, Pamela returned to the University of St Andrews to the role of Medical Admissions Officer in the School of Medicine.
Pamela completed an MA (Hons) Classical Studies (2013) and an MSc (Res) Psychology (2020), for which her thesis examined the attainment gap.
Pamela is also on the Board of Apex Scotland and will shortly join the Children's Panel.
Joseph Harney is a Lecturer at Fife College and the elected academic Board member. His teaching remit delivered with the Social Sciences team, where he teaches Psychology and Counselling. He holds a BA Applied Psychology from University College Cork, Ireland, MA Music Technology from University of Limerick, Ireland, and Grad Cert in Counselling Skills from Abertay University.
Before joining Fife College as a full-time Lecturer, Joseph built up a wide and varied range of professional experiences. Among other pursuits he has worked as a sound designer and composer in theatre, a community youth worker on Council and arts organisation projects, and a music teacher with access initiatives for deprived areas.
Joseph is particularly interested in how the College continues to meet the needs of Fife community. He believes there should be courses and opportunities available to all in the wider Fife area, regardless of age or academic experience.
Evelyn McPhail Evelyn McPhail was until her recent 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.
Evelyn is a pharmacist with experience of transformational change, working in a complex environment with multiple stakeholders and managing in a large organisation. 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 a co-opted member of the Audit and Risk Committee of NHS Healthcare Improvement Scotland.
Having originally trained as a teacher, Susan Mitchell has a background in both private industry and the public sector. Following a career in retail management (Marks & Spencer, then Boots UK), Susan joined her local police force and was a Director there (and latterly in Police Scotland) for a number of years. 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 Chartered Public Finance Accountant and is currently the Chief Operating Officer at Glasgow Caledonian University.
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.
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 also a board member of Developing the Young Workforce Fife.
Before joining Fife, Gordon held a leadership role at Ipswich Borough Council as Head of Culture and Environment Services, managing a range of frontline operational and income generating services.
He has previously led on development of new apprenticeships and graduate training as Employment and Brokerage Manager for Crossrail, and has led on economic development, responsible procurement and employment initiatives for major construction programmes, including London’s Shard of Glass, Heathrow Terminal 5 and Tate Modern.
Gordon has 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. He holds a MA (Hons) in Religious Studies from the University of Edinburgh and an MSc in Development Planning from University College London, where he specialised in international Urban Economic Development, with a focus on Ghana. Gordon is on the board of the Institute of Economic Development.
Samantha has worked in a number of areas including IT, property, legal and financial services; she is particularly interested in organisational strategy, inserting herself into development initiatives and applying a bimodal approach to her work, conducting and steering tasks tenaciously with a view to the bigger picture.
Samantha is passionate about the benefits of further education, particularly in the need to challenge its currency in the move to a more digital society, while maintaining a view to diverse needs - bringing opportunities to all, regardless of background or demographic.
As 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.
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.
Jim Trail OBE
Jim Trail is an experienced Business Leader who retired as Managing Director of Raytheon Systems Ltd in Glenrothes in May 2013. He was awarded an OBE in June 2013 for his Services to the Defence Industry.
He began his career in Finance where he spent 20 years before moving into General Management. As well as having responsibility for the facility in Glenrothes he also had overall UK Board responsibility for Operations, Facilities and Health and Safety for Raytheon UK. He was one of the key leaders who implemented a new Graduate scheme for the company in 2008, which has continued to grow ever since and also for the Engineers of the Future scheme which the company participates in with Fife College and Heriot-Watt University.
Jim is currently a member of the Scottish Children’s Panel and is also a Board member with GIA Properties in Fife.
In his spare time he likes to spend time with his Granddaughter, occasionally going to the gym and watching football.