Current Board of Trustees
Abigail Carney (Chair)
Abigail Carney has worked in Scotland’s arts, tourism and creative industry sectors for over 30 years developing strategies, programmes and audiences for theatres, festivals and cultural organisations. She is also a facilitator in and beyond the arts: in tourism, education and health. Abigail is Co-Founder and Associate Director of the Lammermuir Festival, winner of the 2017 Royal Philharmonic Society’s Best UK Classical Festival Award; Co-Founder of Scotland’s Step Up Mentoring programme, which has supported over 400 individuals across the Scottish arts sector, and 2016 she was made Honorary Fellow, Queen Margaret University.
Greg Walker is Regius Professor of Rhetoric and English Literature at the University of Edinburgh. He writes on the literature and history of the Reign of Henry VIII, on early theatre, and on the pioneering film maker Alexander Korda. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the English Association, and the Royal Historical Society, and chairs the Advisory Board of the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the REF sub-Panel for English Language and Literature.
Rob Conner joined the Board in 2016. His main experience in the cultural & education sector comes from his employment as Finance Director at Edinburgh International Festival (EIF) a position he has held since November 2006. Previously Rob was Financial Controller of EIF from 2002 until taking up the Finance Director position in late 2006. His previous experience to that varied from Scottish Water to Deutsche Bank and the BBC and he attained his chartered accountancy qualification (ICAEW) with Blick Rothenberg, London in December 2000. He has a personal interest in the arts, specifically music and theatre and landscape painting. He describes himself as having no artistic talent whatsoever but is an enthusiastic supporter of those who do and enjoys combining his skills learned in accountancy and business management with the opportunity to experience the arts both in their creation and performance.
Loïs A Wolffe
Loïs is a professional fundraiser. She has worked in the not-for-profit sector for most of her working life, except for that time in the early 90s when she produced a feature film and took it to Cannes Film Festival. In recent years she has raised funds for Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society and headed up fundraising at Edinburgh International Book Festival and then the National Library of Scotland where she spearheaded successful campaigns to acquire the final tranche of the Muriel Spark archive and also to save Scotland’s first printed book (the Aberdeen Breviary) for the nation. She is currently working with Amnesty International in their Scotland office. She has a degree in Medicinal Chemistry, which basically means she spent a few years learning how to make high quality LSD.
Born and raised in Ireland, James travelled to his first festival at the age of four with his family of nine in an old Morris Minor, leaving him with a love of festivals and a dislike of car travel. He joined Festivals Edinburgh as their first Head of Innovation and Marketing following senior management roles with a number of organisations including Salisbury International Festival, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society and Arts Council England where he had lead responsibility for regional funding programmes of £25m. His interest in festivals as a key element of the cultural infrastructure has led him to develop various festival policy contexts and international festival partnerships including the European Festival Research Programme. In his current role with Festivals Edinburgh, a uniquely collaborative organisation, he works to sustain and develop the position of Edinburgh as the world’s leading festival city—which now sees the Festivals host each year, over 25,000 world class artists, more than 1000 accredited media and audiences of 4.5m while generating £313 million for the Scottish economy.
Francis Bickmore is Publishing Director of Canongate Books where he has worked since 2000. He has edited and published with writers including Yann Martel, Alasdair Gray, Scarlett Thomas, Nick Cave, James Kelman, Carol Birch and Matt Haig.
Vineet is a tourism professional and marketing consultant, with vast experience promoting Scotland as a destination for a wide range of markets. He’s also a literary translator from French to English, a conference interpreter and an Associate Lecturer with Edinburgh Napier University and a conference interpreter.
Rachel McCrum is a poet, performer, workshop facilitator, and platform builder. She was the Broad of cult Scottish spoken word cabaret Rally & Broad, with fellow poet-promoter Jenny Lindsay, and the inaugural BBC Scotland Poet in Residence. Her first collection ‘The First Blast to Awaken Women Degenerate’ was published with Freight Books in 2017. She currently lives in Montreal, Quebec, where she is the Director of Les Cabarets Bâtards, Administrative Director of Mile End Poets’ Festival, and Communications and Membership Services Co-ordinator for the Quebec Writers’ Federation.
Frank Ross, Lord Provost, City of Edinburgh Council
Jacqueline Kileen, Director, British Council Scotland
Paul McCloskey, Lifelong Learning Strategic Manager (Community Learning & Development and Libraries), City of Edinburgh Council
Lisa Kapur, Cultural Development Officer, Culture Service, City of Edinburgh Council
Suzanne Davidson – The Board is supported by Company Secretary Suzanne Davidson, a trained lawyer and part of the Corporate Governance and Secretariat at the Royal Bank of Scotland. She oversees all compliance matters.
The Trust offers its grateful thanks to our former Trustees:
Julia Armour, Jackie Brock, Colin Browne, Mary Campbell – former Chair, Stuart Cosgrove, Sandy Crombie – former Chair, Roy Cross, Karen Cunningham, Tom Devine, Paul Docherty, Rt. Hon. George Grubb, Lord Provost, Lesley Hinds, Marc Lambert, Liz McGettigan, Iain McKay, Paul McKenna, Matthew Perren, Ali Smith and Martyn Wade, OBE.
Edinburgh was designated the world’s first City of Literature in 2004 thanks to the hard work and enthusiasm of the four Founding Trustees.
James was also the Trust’s first Chair. He is a former Controller of BBC Radio 4, having spent most of his career with the BBC, Chair of the Scottish Arts Council and Chair of the Scottish Cultural Commission. He is currently Chair of the Board of Trustees at the National Library of Scotland.
Jenny is one of the UK’s leading literary agents, establishing Jenny Brown Associates in 2002. She was previously Head of Literature at the Scottish Arts Council, presenter of book programmes for Scottish Television, and founder Director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival (of which she is now a Board member). She is also a former Committee member of the Association of Authors’ Agents.
Lorraine was Director of the Scottish Publishers Association and CEO of its successor organisation, Publishing Scotland from 1987 to 2008. She is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Library of Scotland and a former member of the British Council Publishers Advisory Committee, the Publishing Qualifications Board and the Institute of Publishing Advisory Board. She is a Consultant and Guest Lecturer for the Scottish Centre for the Book at Edinburgh Napier University.
Catherine was Director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival from 2000 until 2009, having formerly been Literary Editor at The Scotsman. She has a wealth of experience in the cultural and literary sectors, has chaired award committees and has judged many literary prizes, including the Whitbread Awards and the Orange Prize.