The Policy Scotland Governance Board provides strategic advice to the Policy Scotland leadership team as well as guidance, support and challenge on operational matters.

The Board normally meets three times a year. Members represent a diverse range of expertise and experience of policymaking and social sciences research.

Sir John Elvidge KCB, FRSE, FRSA

Head and shoulders photo of Sir John Elvidge

Sir John is Chair of the Policy Scotland Governance Board.

Sir John was Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Government from 2003 to 2010. His current roles include:

LinkedIn profile for Sir John Elvidge

Professor Carol Tannahill, OBE

Head and shoulders photo of Carol Tannahill

Professor Carol Tannahill is Director of the Glasgow Centre for Population Health (GCPH) and is the Scottish Government Chief Social Policy Adviser.

Her other roles include:

She was awarded an OBE in 2018 for services to public health.

GCPH profile for Professor Carol Tannahill

Professor Sara Carter, OBE, FRSE

Professor Sara Carter, OBE, FRSE, is Vice Principal and Head of the College of Social Sciences at the University of Glasgow.

she was previously the Associate Principal (Learning & Teaching) at the University of Strathclyde and Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship, Strathclyde Business School.

She is a member of the:

She is also a Non-Executive Director of Women’s Enterprise Scotland.

Professor Sally Wyke

Professor Sally Wyke is Deputy Director of the Institute of Health and Wellbeing (IHW) at the University of Glasgow and Interdisciplinary Research Professor at IHW.

She is Dean of Research for the College of Social Sciences, an Associate with the School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing, and an Academic Ambassador for the Addressing Inequalities Research Beacon at the University of Glasgow.

Her other roles include:

University of Glasgow profile for Professor Sally Wyke

Dr Rolf Alter

Dr Rolf Alter is an economist and a Senior Fellow at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin.

He spent over 25 years at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris. In 2006, he was appointed Chief of Staff to the OECD Secretary-General, and in 2009 he became Director of Public Governance, and focused on supporting governments to improve their public sector performance for inclusive growth and economic competitiveness.

He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Global Risks Report of the World Economic Forum. In 2016 he was awarded the O.P. Dwivedi Award by the International Association of Schools and Institutes of Administration (IASIA) for his outstanding contribution to public administration and policy.

He joined the Policy Scotland Governance Board in April 2019.


Heather Cousins

Heather Cousins is a Deputy Secretary at Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland, where she leads the Skills and Education Group

She has held other posts in the Department for the Economy with responsibility for higher education policy and funding and European Social Fund programmes. Her earlier roles were Director of Housing and then Deputy Secretary of the Department of Social Development in Northern Ireland.

Other roles include:

She joined the Policy Scotland Governance Board in summer 2019.