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 and then on to senior management positions in various locations in Scotland. 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. She also became involved with Spinal Injuries Scotland (SIS), who helped during her rehabilitation. Ms Bamford became the Chair of their Board of Directors and remains an Ambassador for SIS. Ms Bamford is also the Convener of Disability Equity Scotland. 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. Ms Bamford brings to the role experience and qualifications in organisational governance, PrInCE2 project management methodologies, risk management and business continuity planning. She has a Masters in Business Administration and a Diploma in Counselling. Ms Bamford also brings to this role her direct experience of living in poverty.
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 the 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 Center for Global Development, and led the policy research teams at Christian Aid and Save the Children. Mr Cobham has published widely in academic journals, and books: The Uncounted (Polity Press), and Estimating Illicit Financial Flows (Oxford University Press), including jointly the proposal for the income inequality measure, the Palma ratio.
Lindsay Graham – Deputy Chair
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.
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
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 over 20 years. She analyses strategic and other data to inform policy and practice in relation to child and family inequalities. Professor Treanor is also a member of The Promise Oversight Board.
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 Deputy Director of Policy and Partnerships at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), where she leads activity to develop solutions to poverty in the UK. 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.
Rory Morrison, Analytical Manager
Rory is a researcher who provides support and advice to the Commission on research and evidence. He leads on developing and delivering analytical work to support the Commission, through carrying out research in-house or commissioning research from external sources to fill evidence gaps. Rory is responsible for building and maintaining the Commission’s network with other people and organisations in the public sector, third sector and academia who are also researching poverty and inequality in Scotland.
Órlaith McAree, Participation Manager
Órlaith leads on the Commission’s priority to meaningfully involve people with lived experience of poverty throughout its work. She designs and delivers approaches to engage experts by experience in scrutiny, advice, and advocacy on tackling poverty and inequality. On behalf of the Commission, Órlaith works with other organisations in Scotland who collaborate with people with lived experience of poverty to share learning and best practice so we can collectively improve the way we engage experts by experience in policy making.
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.