Board of Trustees

The National Galleries of Scotland is governed by a Board of Trustees. There are up to 12 trustees on the Board at any one time and they are appointed by Scottish Ministers through an open appointments system.

Trustees are appointed for a four year term of office in the first instance and may be offered a second term.

People

Ben Thomson, Chairman

Ben Thomson, Chairman

Ben is a physics graduate from Edinburgh University. He started work for Kleinwort Benson in London and then joined Noble Group, the UK investment bank, in 1990. He was appointed as Chief Executive of Noble Group in 1997 and became Chairman in 2007, until its merger with Execution Limited in 2010.

He is Chairman of Urbicus Ltd, a property fund management business. He is also Chairman of Inverleith LLP, a Scottish-based merchant bank; Chairman of the charity Reform Scotland, an independent think tank researching and promoting policies to improve the Scottish economic environment and the efficiency of the public sector; and Chairman of Barrington Stoke, a Scottish publishing company that publishes books for reluctant readers.

He is a Non-Executive Director of Fidelity Special Values Plc. He is also a Non-Executive Director of the Edinburgh International Science Festival.

Ben enjoys opera and art. He was a Scottish international athlete, and enjoys most sports, especially skiing and triathlon.

Lesley Knox

Lesley Knox

Lesley Knox is currently Chairman of Dundee Design Limited, the charitable company formed to build a new design centre in Dundee to provide – in partnership with the V&A at Dundee – a showcase for the best in international design.

Prior to that, she was Chairman of the Finance Committee of the Federation of British Artists for five years.

Ms Knox was a Governor of the Museum of London for nine years.  She was also a Member of the Steering Group led by George Reid during his review of the National Trust for Scotland.  She is Chairman of the Alliance Trust Plc, a Director of Hays Plc and a Director of Grosvenor Group Limited.

Nicky Wilson

Nicky Wilson

Nicky Wilson is Founder and Director of the charitable foundation Jupiter Artland Foundation.  She is founder and former co-Director of Beautiful Bump skincare products and has worked at WCRS Advertising Agency and LSDC Ayer Advertising managing accounts.

Ms Wilson was a winner of the prestigious year-long British School of Rome Sculpture Scholarship.  She trained at Chelsea School of Art – where she was awarded a MA in Sculpture – and Camberwell College of Fine Art.

Tricia Bey

Tricia Bey

Tricia joined the Board of Trustees in November 2012.  In her early career Tricia worked in the pre-internet world of patent information. She then spent 14 years with Deloitte Consulting, building and leading different practice areas including two years as the Managing Partner of the Dutch consulting practice. She was later Managing Director of a London-based management development school. She now lives in Ayrshire running her own award-winning cheese making business.

Tricia has an Engineering Science degree from Durham University and an MBA from The London Business School. She is a Trustee of the Friends of the V&A and a Director of Taste Ayrshire.

Catherine Muirden

Catherine Muirden

Catherine joined the Board of Trustees in November 2012. Catherine is a Human Resources professional and is currently Head of HR in the Retail Bank at Barclays. Her interests and activities include diversity and inclusion, employee engagement and youth employability.

After graduating from Edinburgh University, her management career began at Marks and Spencer, where she held senior HR positions including Group Head of Recruitment. She is a non-executive Director of The Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh.

Alistair Dodds

Alistair Dodds

Alistair Dodds was appointed to the Board in January 2014.  He has held senior management positions in the Highland Council over a period of 18 years in HR, Corporate Governance, and was Chief Executive for over 6 years until August 2013.

He is a former Company Secretary to Eden Court Theatre, Inverness and has a keen personal interest in the arts, having been a Friend of the National Galleries of Scotland for many years.

Mr Dodds has an Economics degree from Edinburgh University, a post graduate Diploma in Personnel Management from Strathclyde University and an MBA (Distinction) from Dundee University.

Edward Green

Edward Green

Edward Green was appointed to the Board in January 2014.  A specialist in jewellery and antiques, he has been an art lover and collector since his twenties.

During his 30-year career, he has held the positions of Deputy Chairman of Garrard the Crown Jewellers and Managing Director, Mappin & Webb, and was responsible for taking both companies into Asia.  Following that, he was a main board director of Asprey and President of Asprey in the United States. 

Edward graduated from Strathclyde University with a BA in business and administration (HCM). 

Benny Higgins

Benny Higgins

Benny Higgins was appointed to the Board in January 2014.  He began his career in the financial services industry at Standard Life where he qualified as an actuary, progressing to RBS and subsequently HBOS where he was Chief Executive of their Retail Banking division. He took the helm at Tesco Bank in 2008 following Tesco’s buyout of the RBS share.

Benny has a First Class Honours degree in Mathematics from the University of Glasgow.  He qualified as a Fellow of the Faculty of Actuaries in 1986 and is currently a member of its Council.  He is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland and a member of the Treasury Task force on Financial Inclusion and the Scottish Government’s Financial Services Advisory Board (FiSAB). 

He is a member of the Glasgow Economic Leadership Board and the Commonwealth Games Legacy Board. He is also a non-executive director of Buccleuch Group, a member of the Scottish Government’s Financial Services Advisory Board (FiSAB) and a Princes Trust Ambassador.

Tari Lang

Tari Lang

Tari Lang was appointed to the Board in January 2014.  She is an international advisor to corporations and governments/government bodies providing senior specialist counsel on reputation risk and management, and leadership development. Ms Lang was the Founding Partner of Reputation lnc, a reputation management consultancy in London, Dublin and Dubai and before that, CEO of Edelman Public Relations Worldwide in London.

Ms Lang currently sits on the Board of the National Theatre of Scotland, the Edinburgh International Festival Council and the Nominating Council of Women of the Year.

Professor Nicholas Pearce

Professor Nicholas Pearce

Professor Nick Pearce was appointed to the Board in October 2014.  Heholds the Sir John Richmond Chair of Fine Art at the University of Glasgow.  Since joining the University in 1998, he has held the position of Head of History of Art and latterly Head of the School of Culture & Creative Arts within the College of Arts. A specialist in the arts of China, his career has straddled both academe and museums, having previously held curatorial positions at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, The Burrell Collection in Glasgow and the Oriental Museum at the University of Durham.

Professor Pearce is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Fellow, Smithsonian Provenance Research Initiative, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C. He is also a Visiting Professor on the Smithsonian Institution’s Masters Program in the History of the Decorative Arts and a Trustee of the Sir William Burrell Trust and of the Textile Conservation Foundation.

Willie Watt

Willie Watt

Willie Watt was appointed to the Board in October 2014.  He is Chief Executive of Martin Currie Investment Management Ltd, joining Martin Currie as Chief Executive in January 2001. Before that, he spent 16 years with 3i Group, latterly as a managing director responsible for the Scottish part of its UK business. He ran specialist venture, buy out and the oil and gas teams. Martin Currie has developed over the last ten years as a specialist international equities boutique focussing on Global, Asian and Emerging Markets.

Mr Watt received a First-Class Honours degree in Geography from the University of Aberdeen and then went on to complete a 3 year Carnegie research scholarship in Geography and Archaeology.