The new members are experienced figures in Scottish public life and have an extensive background in industry, education, international relations, tourism and both public and private sectors. The Board has appointed the two with approval from the Scottish Government.
The new Board members are tourism expert Gwen Raez and Ross Laird, the head of the Scottish arm of a major PR and communications agency.
Gwen has worked at national tourism organisation VisitScotland for the past 19 years and brings with her a wealth of experience in developing and maintaining strategic partnerships, particularly in the UK, the USA and Canada.
In addition, over the last three years, Gwen has been instrumental in working in partnership with Scottish Government, Scottish Development International and Universities Scotland to ensure a ‘Brand Scotland’ voice when promoting Scotland overseas. This has involved developing and delivering multi award-winning marketing campaigns to encourage visitors to Scotland as part of her role as senior marketing manager.
Ross Laird heads up Grayling in Scotland, an international PR and communications agency, and has more than 20 years of experience covering the energy, health, tourism and education sectors.
Ross’ previous roles include working for the House of Commons and Citigate, as well as being a leading member of the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce – where he spearheaded transport policy issues – a former board member of Archaeology Scotland. Ross is also currently vice-chair of YMCA Scotland, supporting the development of mentoring and youthwork schemes.
Chair of Edinburgh College’s Board of Management Sir Ian Diamond said: “On behalf of the Board, I would like to welcome Gwen and Ross to their new roles. Both have a vast wealth of experience in developing partnerships at home and abroad, as well as strong links within education.
“Their respective experiences and skillsets will serve the College and the Board well as we aim to continue maximising experiences and opportunities for all of our students.”
Edinburgh College Principal Audrey Cumberford said: “I am pleased to welcome Gwen and Ross to the Board of Management as we work to achieve our ambitions for the future. Their mixture of experience in the commercial and public sectors will add to the range of knowledge and expertise already at the Board’s disposal which, will no doubt, be of great benefit as we strive to be Scotland’s pre-eminent College, delivering life-changing education to our students.”