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SCDI President

The role of the SCDI President is an honorary position, recognising the contribution an individual makes to Scotland’s economic development. Historically the position is held for a period of 3 years. The President’s key responsibility is to promote Scotland and SCDI in support of its mission and vision, and to represent members’ interests both in the UK and overseas.

SCDI’s current President is Shonaig Macpherson CBE.

Shonaig Macpherson CBE, FRSE, DUniv, is Chair of the Robertson Trust, an independent grant maker distributing over £20m per annum to charities in Scotland.

Shonaig qualified and practiced as a solicitor in the City of London and in Scotland, specialising in advising companies whose core asset is intellectual property. During her legal career Shonaig worked for Sir Terence Conran, established the in-house legal department of Harrods and advised the Albrecht family on the establishment of Aldi in the UK. Her legal career culminated in her appointment as Senior Partner of McGrigors now Pinsent Mason and she retired from the law in 2004.

Since then Shonaig has undertaken several non-executive roles including as Chairman of the National Trust for Scotland, Scottish Council for Development and Industry, The Princes Trust, The Princes Scottish Youth Business Trust and The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

With a strong commitment to education, Shonaig has served on the governing bodies of the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh College of Art, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, the Open University, Heriot Watt University and Edinburgh Business School.

Shonaig was appointed as the first ever non-executive appointee to the Management and Strategic Boards of Scottish Government where she became the first lay person to chair its Audit Committee. She was a member of the UK Government and Scottish Parliament’s Commission on Scottish Devolution, the Scottish Executive’s Culture Commission and its Knowledge Economy Task Force.

Shonaig is currently chair of the Royal Lyceum Theatre Company, the Lead Non-Executive Director of the Joint Management Board of the Office of the Secretary of State for Scotland and Office of the Advocate General of the UK Government and a trustee of the SCO Trust.

Past SCDI Presidents


(2012 – 2020) Dame Susan Rice DBE

(2009 – 2011)  Mr. Campbell Christie CBE
(2006 – 2008)  Dr. Tam Dalyell FRSE
(2002 – 2005)  Mr. David Paton OBE
(1999 – 2002)  Sir James Duncan
(1996 – 1999)  Dr. Ian M H Preston CBE
(1993 – 1996)  The Rt Hon. Viscount Younger of Leckie KT KCVO TD DL
(1991 – 1993)  Sir Donald McCallum CBE DL
(1986 – 1991)  Mr. Peter E G Balfour CBE
(1972 – 1986)  The Rt Hon. Lord Clydesmuir KT CB MBE TD LLD DSC
(1966 – 1972)  The RT Hon. Lord Polwarth TD LLD
(1946 – 1966)  The Rt Hon. The Lord Bilsland KT MC DL LLD
(1931 – 1946)  The Rt Hon. The Earl of Elgin & Kincardine KT CMG LLD

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