The Commission

Chair

Ailsa Henderson - Appointed 1 June 2023 for a period of 4 years 

Ailsa Henderson is a Professor of Political Science in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Edinburgh, where she gained her PhD and now teaches courses on research methods, quantitative analysis, UK and comparative politics. Her published research examines sub-state political behaviour, including voter turnout, political culture and civic engagement. She was previously Assistant Professor of Political Science at Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Toronto and was formerly Working Groups Chair of the Ontario Citizens' Assembly for Electoral Reform. She is currently a Commissioner for the Boundary Commission for Scotland.

Deputy Chair

Simon Jones - Appointed 1 February 2024 for a period of 4 years 

Simon works on substance use strategy within Clackmannanshire and Stirling Health and Social Care Partnership and has a professional background in mental health and education in community and prison settings. He is working towards a PhD in law and politics at Cardiff University, focussed on health politics in devolved contexts.

Commissioners

Gordon Macmillan - Appointed 19 November 2018 for a period of 4 years and reappointed until 18 November 2026.

Gordon Macmillan is a graduate of Aberdeen University with a honours degree in Politics and Economics. He was a senior journalist and media executive for more than thirty five years, working for the BBC in London and Scotland, CNN in Atlanta USA and most recently with STV as Head of News. At STV he oversaw the broadcaster’s coverage of political issues at local, regional and national level. He led the teams covering Holyrood elections, European Parliament campaigns, Westminster elections as well as local government elections and the 2014 Scottish Independence referendum. Gordon has a proven track record of objective assessment of political issues and has a developed understanding of Scotland’s political landscape and the concerns and interests of local communities.

Martin Smith - Appointed 1 June 2023 for a period of 4 years.

Martin Smith is a graduate of the University of Strathclyde and the Open University, he spent most of his career in further and higher education management. Martin Smith worked at the University of Strathclyde before moving to the University of Paisley (now the University of the West of Scotland) as Director of Planning and Development. He then held a number of senior roles within the Scottish Funding Council (SFC - the body responsible to the Scottish Government for funding Scotland’s colleges and universities). Martin Smith is an experienced leader in funding policy and information management. At SFC he lead the Funding and the Data Collection and Analytical Teams. Throughout his career he has specialised in data collection and analytics as well as financial planning and had responsibility for the publication of Official and National Statistics covering further and higher education in Scotland.

Alan Stewart - Appointed 1 June 2023 for a period of 4 years.

Alan Stewart is a graduate of Glasgow University with an honours degree in modern history and politics. Alan has considerable regulatory experience in different sectors including education, sport and communications. He was Head of the Independent Television Commission in Scotland before moving into the Office of Communications (Ofcom) as Head of Broadcasting for Scotland. These roles involved analysing the performance of licensed broadcasters and leading consultations with a wide range of stakeholders across Scotland to ensure awareness of their concerns and priorities. Alan also has non-executive board experience gained from his involvement with two charities - Falkirk Community Trust and Forth Environment Link. He is a current member of Ofcom’s Community Radio Fund Panel.

Alison McNab - Appointed 1 February 2024 for a period of 4 years.

Alison McNab is a graduate of Aberdeen and Edinburgh Universities with an honours degree in law and a post graduate diploma in professional legal practice. Alison started her career as a Scottish solicitor in private practice, working primarily in the fields of criminal defence and civil litigation. Alison then spent five years working in policy and law reform for the Law Society of Scotland, gaining extensive experience of scrutinising legislative proposals, working with elected officials and other stakeholders, navigating parliamentary processes and procedures, and legislative drafting. Alison is an experienced leader in the voluntary sector with expertise in governance, strategic planning, and project planning, delivery and management. She is a former participant of the CBI’s Future Leaders’ programme. Alison also brings experience of both working and volunteering in the public sector and an understanding of local government planning.

Secretary

The work of the Commission is supported by a small Secretariat which is headed by the Secretary. The Secretary is a civil servant employed by Scottish Government.

Appointments

Appointments to Boundaries Scotland are made under Schedule 4 to the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973.

Members of the Commission are appointed by Scottish Ministers, following procedures approved by the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland. Appointments are normally for 3 or 4 years, with the possibility of renewal. These posts receive a daily fee, plus expenses. Vacant posts are advertised in the national press and be subject to a process of selection and interview by a panel including the Chair and a representative of the Scottish Government. The final appointment is made by the Scottish Ministers.

Commissioners must be politically neutral.

Commissioners' Register of Interests and Code of Conduct

Commissioners' Register of Interests

Code of Conduct for Members of Boundaries Scotland


Explore our past Commissioners for Boundaries Scotland.