Bill has been at Inclusion Scotland for 12 years first as Policy & Parliamentary Officer, then as Acting CEO and currently as Senior Policy Advisor. Before joining the Voluntary Sector, in 1989, Bill worked in the Department of Employment, Unemployment Benefits. Bill has also previously worked as: a Senior Researcher for the SSP Group in the Scottish Parliament where he was responsible for the Free School Meals and Free Prescriptions Bills (2003-7); as Deputy Manager of Pilton Community Health Project (2001-3); as Director of Lothian Anti-Poverty Alliance (1997-2001); as a Racial Equality Officer (1995-96); as a Training & Development Worker (p/t) for Edinburgh Employment Rights Campaign (1991-95) and as a Welfare Rights Worker (1989-1995). He has also served as Convenor of the Scottish Employment Rights Network, Chair of Granton Information Centre and as a Board member with both SkillNet (BME employability project) and Edinburgh Unemployed Workers Centre. He currently serves on a number of Scottish Government advisory groups (e.g. the Social Renewal Advisory Board, Disability and Carers Benefits Expert Advisory Group, Carers Benefits Advisory Group, Ill Health & Disability Benefits Stakeholder Reference Group, Welfare Reform Health Impact Delivery Group, Social Security Agency Operations Reference Group, etc).
Linda Bamford’s early career was with NHS Scotland, initially as a psychiatric and general nurse before moving into para medicine with the Scottish Ambulance Service. Ms Bamford took early medical retirement after surgery for a spinal cord injury and during her rehabilitation she became involved in Children’s Hearings Scotland as a Panel member and Panel Practice Advisor. Ms Bamford also took up opportunities with the Open University and on-line learning to expand her knowledge mainly in Child Development and Psychology, the Children’s Scotland Act – Criminal Justice and Corrections, Disability and Equality Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In 2016, Ms Bamford was appointed by Scottish Ministers as the Convener of the Mobility and Access Committee for Scotland (MACS). She has also worked with Scope on the research elements of Disability Price Tag.
Yvonne Blake is a lifelong social justice anti-poverty campaigner. Her campaigning is embedded in the empowerment of migrant community to recognise and effectively challenge oppressive structures and behaviours individually and collectively. She is the co-founder of Roots to Return, a member of the Unity centre where she is responsible for day to day running of the centre, strategic development, volunteer recruitment and training and retention and, co-founder of Migrants Organising for Rights and Empowerment.
Alex Cobham is Chief Executive of the Tax Justice Network, the leading international organisation dedicated to ending global damage caused by tax havens and corporate tax abuse. He is a development economist, having worked on inequality and tax at Oxford University and the Centre for Global Development, and leading the policy research teams at Christian Aid and Save the Children. Mr Cobham has published widely in academic journals, and newly published books; The Uncounted and on Illicit Financial Flows. He is the co-creator of the widely used income inequality measure, the Palma ratio.
Lindsay Graham is a former community nurse and local government officer from the Highlands. She has direct knowledge and understanding of supporting access to services for vulnerable groups. At a national level, she chaired the All Party Parliamentary Group on School Foods ‘Holiday Hunger Task Group’, developing guidance and training on the issue. Ms Graham is also founder of two children’s charities for families affected by disability and is an advocate of their rights. She has an interest in tackling food insecurity causes and consequences and rural poverty. A Churchill Fellow, she is a member on the Scotland Committee of National Lottery Community Fund and Trustee for the charity Dundee Bairns.
Shona Stephen is currently the Chief Executive of Queens Cross Housing Association with over 4,300 tenancies, 2,500 factored owners and 220 staff. She was previously a senior Civil Servant in the Housing and Regeneration Directorate within Scottish Government where she advised Ministers on policy areas including homelessness, fuel poverty, older people’s housing and housing support. Previously Ms Stephen was Director for The Prince’s Trust in Scotland and spent 11 years as a development officer working for a range of Housing Associations in Easterhouse, latterly as Director of Lochfield Park Housing Co-operative.
Professor Morag Treanor – Deputy Chair
Professor Morag Treanor is Professor of Child and Family Inequalities at Heriot-Watt University. Her focus is on child and family poverty and she has conducted research in this field for close to 20 years. She analyses strategic and other data to inform policy and practice in relation to child and family inequalities. Professor Treanor is a Member of the Advisory Board for the Child Poverty Action Group.
Douglas White is Head of Advocacy at the Carnegie UK Trust, a charitable foundation that aims to improve people’s wellbeing with a particular focus on communities experiencing disadvantage. He leads the Trust’s Digital Futures and Fulfilling work programmes, overseeing a range of research, policy and practice projects with a strong focus on tackling poverty. Mr White is Vice-Chair of Shelter Scotland and worked previously as a consumer rights advocate and as a social researcher, working with people and communities across Scotland.
Katie Schmuecker is Head of Policy and Partnerships at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), where she leads activity on how to make work a more reliable route out of poverty. She was one of the authors of JRF’s landmark ‘We Can Solve Poverty’ report, and is a regular commentator in the media through blogs, vlogs, articles and broadcast appearances. Prior to joining JRF Katie was Associate Director at the Institute for Public Policy Research North. Her areas of expertise include inclusive growth, economic development, devolution, universal credit and poverty. She was also a member of the non-statutory Poverty and Inequality Commission.
Katherine Hudson, Secretariat Manager
Katherine Hudson leads the work of the secretariat to ensure that the Commission has the appropriate support in order to undertake its work. She works with the Chair and Commissioners to agree the strategic direction of the Commission and its work plan, and ensure that the Commission’s work has impact with government and with stakeholders. Katherine will also lead for the secretariat on supporting particular pieces of work that the Commission identifies as part of its work plan.
Michele Barr, Secretariat/Administrator
Michele is the Commission’s administrator who ensures that the Commission’s meetings run smoothly and that Commissioners are kept up to date with the papers and information that they need. Michele organises travel and events and administers the Commission’s budget. She is also responsible for the Commission’s website. Michele is the first point of contact for any questions about travel, expenses or meeting arrangements.