Board Members

Scottish Book Trust is led by a strong Board of Trustees who bring a diverse range of professional skills and experience to the charity’s governance.

Keir Bloomer

Keir Bloomer (Chair)

Independent Education Consultant

Keir is the former Director of Education and Chief Executive of Clackmannanshire Council, a post from which he retired in May 2007. He is Chair of the Tapestry Partnership, a leading organisation in the field of teachers’ professional development. He is convener of the Education Committee of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and is the Chair of the Commission on School reform, being largely responsible for the writing of its influential report, By Diverse Means

As a member of the review group which wrote “A Curriculum for Excellence” (Scotland’s national curriculum), he has been closely involved with curriculum reform and recently chaired the Higher Order Skills Excellence Group.  He now undertakes curriculum and professional development work with the Scottish Government, local authorities, national agencies and schools.

Hilde Watne Frydnes 

Head of Product, Mallzee Insights Limited

Hilde brings a range of digital experience from local and global business success stories to the Scottish Book Trust. After getting a Master's Degree in Comparative Literature in her native Norway, Hilde started her marketing career in Google's EMEA headquarters in Dublin, developing digital advertising strategies for large businesses. She came to Edinburgh to join Scotland's first unicorn business, travel search engine Skyscanner and lead their paid search marketing. Hilde has since founded her own digital marketing consultancy, as well as worked with marketing and strategy at organisations like Macs Adventure, Edinburgh International Festival and Float. She currently leads the product and app development teams at fast-growing retail start-up Mallzee Insights, and volunteers on the Creative Edinburgh mentoring programme.

Willy Maley

Professor Willy Maley

Professor of English Literature, University of Glasgow

Willy Maley has published widely on Scottish literature and culture, including studies of Alasdair Gray, Janice Galloway, James Kelman, Muriel Spark and Irvine Welsh. In 2005 he edited The List Guide to the 100 Best Scottish Books of All Time with support from Scottish Book Trust. As a playwright, Willy is also a former Fringe First winner and has had work performed at the Arches, Pavilion, Tramway and Tron theatres.

Andy Marchant

Andy Marchant


Andy works with financial services companies, management consultants and charities on their business plans and marketing strategies. He previously held Managing Director and Marketing Director roles at Aegon, Direct Line and Royal Bank of Scotland during a 25-year career in retail financial services. His experience in strategy and innovation, customer experience management and product, channel and brand development includes launching the UK’s first internet banking service as well as the first online savings and loan accounts.

Catherine Smith

Catherine Smith

Head of Strategy and member of the Executive Board, BBC Scotland

Catherine understands digital media and is experienced in interpreting markets and developing strategies, implementing business plans and monitoring their success across a range of industries. She is a former Head of Marketing at RBS, consultant with KPMG and award-winning advisor for Arts & Business.

Laura van der Hoeven

Laura van der Hoeven

Prison Policy Manager, Scottish Government 

Passionate about social justice, Laura has over a decade of experience working closely with the UK and Scottish Governments to tackle poverty and exclusion. Before joining the Scottish Government where she works on Prison Policy she has  worked for a number of voluntary sector organisations including Families Outside and Citizens Advice and was previously a trustee of Pact, a national charity supporting prisoners, people with convictions and their families in England and Wales. In her spare time Laura enjoys cooking, reading and hill - walking. She loves good food and social justice, especially if the two can be combined.

Dr Rebekah Widdowfield

Dr Rebekah Widdowfield

Chief Executive, Royal Society of Edinburgh

Following a geography degree at the University of Oxford and PhD at the University of Newcastle, Rebekah worked for a number of years at the Universities of Bristol and Cardiff, researching homelessness, rural poverty and social exclusion. She joined the Scottish Government in 2001, working in a number of roles before becoming a senior civil servant in 2008 in which capacity she undertook roles covering rural and environmental science and analysis, social research (as Chief Researcher), higher education and housing.  Rebekah left Scottish Government in September 2017 to join the Royal Society of Edinburgh as Chief Executive. Outwith work, alongside reading, Rebekah enjoys hill-walking and jazz.

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Morag Dunlop (Treasurer)

Consultant and former Finance Director

Morag is a senior finance professional with experience across a broad range of sectors. Following a finance degree at Strathclyde University she qualified as a Chartered Accountant whilst with Ernst & Young. Most recently she has worked with the international healthcare insurer Cigna where she was European Finance Director responsible for developing a strong finance team of over 100 professionals across Europe. She has a passion for supporting education and developing people to help reach their potential. She has also held board positions with the former James Watt College and supported some smaller local charities.