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Professor Irene McAra-McWilliam OBE

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Irene McAra-McWilliam has international experience of creative leadership having worked globally as Director of Design Research for multinational Philips Electronics. She is currently Deputy Director Research & Innovation at The Glasgow School of Art. Irene was responsible for establishing GSA’s Highlands and Islands Campus in Moray and GSA’s Innovation School which is now the School of Innovation and Technology. Irene was awarded an OBE in recognition of her work in Higher Education, Innovation and Design.

Irene’s reappointment runs from 4 November 2023 to 3 November 2026.

Register of interests

1. Remunerated directorships.


2. Remunerated employment, office, profession or other activity.

Deputy Director Research and Innovation, Glasgow School of Art.

3. Clients connected with the further and/or higher education sector or other aspects of the Council’s business.


4. Significant gifts or hospitality arising from Board or Committee membership. (To be reported as soon as reasonably practical).


5. Significant shareholdings in a public company where the value is more than 1% of the total issued share value of the company.


6. Significant shareholdings in a private company which might give rise to a conflict of interest or trust.


7. Public activity in support of a political party within the previous five years.


8. Miscellaneous, for example, unremunerated posts, honorary positions and other connections which might give rise to a conflict of interest or trust.

Member of UUK Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research/Innovation) Group.

Member of Advanced Care Research Centre Advisory Group, Edinburgh University.

9. Relevant and known interests of spouse, partner and close family.

Professor Lesley McAra, Director, The Institute of Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh.

SFC Strategic Plan 2022-27

Building a connected, agile, sustainable tertiary education and research system for Scotland.

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