Board of Trustees

Our Board members bring exceptional and diverse skills and expertise to support us in the delivery of our mission to improve the economic, social and environmental wellbeing in Scotland by enabling access to and linkage of data about people, places and businesses for research in the public good.

Our Board is responsible for the effective governance and development of Research Data Scotland, supports the directors in overseeing the delivery of our strategy, monitors key risks, and ensures resources are managed effectively.

Meet the Board of Trustees

Roger Halliday
Professor Roger Halliday
Chief Executive

Roger Halliday is Chief Executive of Research Data Scotland and Co-Director of ADR Scotland. Roger was previously the Scottish Government’s Chief Statistician. Before that, he worked in the Department of Health in England as a policy analyst managing evidence for decision-making across NHS issues. He qualified with a degree in statistics in 1993 from St. Andrews University. He has worked for various UK Government Departments and at the Scottish Government in several statistical and policymaking roles. His areas of expertise are around transforming services with data, and he has experience working in the fields of health, children, learning, skills and the economy. 

Paul Boyle
Professor Paul Boyle, Vice-Chancellor
Chair

Professor Paul Boyle was appointed Vice-Chancellor of Swansea University in 2019 following his role as President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester. Previously, Paul was Chief Executive of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the UK’s largest funding agency for social science research; the International Champion of Research Councils UK, with responsibility for international strategy on behalf of all seven UK research councils; and President of Science Europe, representing over 50 European funding agencies. Paul is a Fellow of the British Academy and the Academy of Social Sciences, Chair of Universities Wales’ Research and Innovation Network and a Board Member of Universities UK, who provide leadership and support to executive heads of 133 UK university institutions. 

Shannon Vallor
Professor Shannon Vallor
Board Member

Shannon Vallor is the Baillie Gifford Professor in the Ethics of Data and Artificial Intelligence in the University of Edinburgh’s Department of Philosophy. She serves as Director of the Centre for Technomoral Futures in the Edinburgh Futures Institute and is a Fellow of the Alan Turing Institute. Professor Vallor's research explores how emerging technologies reshape human moral and intellectual character, and maps the ethical challenges and opportunities posed by new uses of data and artificial intelligence. Her work includes advising academia, government and industry on the ethical design and use of AI. 

Giselle Cory
Giselle Cory
Board Member

Giselle Cory is chief executive at DataKind UK, a charity that supports social sector organisations to use data science. Serving hundreds of charities, through a network of skilled pro-bono data scientists, DataKind is catalysing data-driven transformation in the sector. Giselle believes that smart, responsible data use can help the social sector tackle some of the UK’s biggest challenges. Previously, Giselle spent over a decade working in social change organisations, in government, charities and think tanks. They worked at the centre of government, in both the Prime Minister's strategy unit (Cabinet Office) and the Prime Minister's Delivery unit (HM Treasury), and as the lead analyst on Downing Street's 2010 review of government spending. 

Andrew Morris
Professor Andrew Morris
Board Member

Professor Andrew Morris became the inaugural Director of Health Data Research UK in August 2017, the UK’s national Institute for health data science. Its mission is to unite the UK’s health data to improve people’s lives and is supported by 12 funders. He also convenes the International COVID 19 Data Alliance (ICODA) supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Minderoo Foundation. He is seconded from his position as Professor of Medicine, and Vice Principal of Data Science at the University of Edinburgh, having taken up position in August 2014. Prior to this Andrew was Dean of Medicine at the University of Dundee. Andrew was Chief Scientist at the Scottish Government Health Directorate (2012-2017) and has served and chaired numerous national and international grant committees and Governmental bodies. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Academy of Medical Sciences. 
 

Gillian Docherty
Gillian Docherty, OBE
Board Member

Gillian Docherty is chief commercial officer at the University of Strathclyde and works across the institution to drive forward the University’s sector-leading activities with industry and support Scotland and the UK’s economic recovery from the global pandemic. Prior to joining the University in 2022, Gillian was the Chief Executive of The Data Lab, Scotland’s innovation centre for data science and artificial intelligence. Gillian was appointed an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2019 for Services to Information Technology and Business. Formerly of IBM, Gillian was named Digital Leader 2018 for the UK, she received an Outstanding Achievement Award at Scotland’s Women in Technology Awards in 2019. 

Jill Pell
Jill Pell
Board Member

Jill Pell is Henry Mechan Professor of Public Health and Director of the Institute of Health and Wellbeing at the University of Glasgow. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Jill is currently a member of Council at the Medical Research Council and a non-executive director and medical trustee of the British Health Foundation. She was awarded CBE in 2017 for services to public health research and has more than 30 years' experience of using routine data and record linkage for health research. 
 

Mark Parsons
Professor Mark Parsons
Board Member

Professor Parsons is the Director of EPCC, the supercomputing centre at the University of Edinburgh. EPCC operates many of the UK’s national research computing services including the new ARCHER2 National Supercomputer. As Dean of Research Computing, he provides expert advice and guidance to the College of Science and Engineering and the University on all aspects of modern research infrastructures with a particular focus on supercomputing, AI and data infrastructure. Mark also works part-time for EPSRC at UKRI as the Director of Research Computing. He joined EPCC in 1994 as a software developer working on several industrial contracts following a PhD in Particle Physics undertaken on the LEP accelerator at CERN in Geneva. 

Scott Heald
Scott Heald
Board Member

Scott Heald is Public Health Scotland’s lead Director for data, digital and statistics. Before that, he held a variety of statistical leadership roles in the Information Services Division (ISD) of NHS National Services Scotland. He qualified in 1994 with a degree in mathematics and statistics from the University of Edinburgh. After initially working within the field of education statistics, Scott has spent most of his career in the health and care statistics arena and has a particular passion for the use of data and statistics to drive transformative change which improves the outcomes for individuals. Scott is a fellow of the Royal Statistical Society.