The Board comprises of the Chair and six Members who meet regularly throughout the year.
Members of the Board are appointed by Scottish Ministers. The normal term of office for a non-executive Board member is four years, although lengths of appointments may be varied to ensure continuity of Board membership.
The Board is responsible for the overall management, strategic direction, risk management and internal control systems, succession planning and performance of the body. It discharges its responsibilities through regular scheduled meetings and ad hoc meetings, as may be required. The Board has reserved specific matters to itself for determination and approval which include strategic issues, the risk profile of the body, approval of the annual budget, awarding of material contracts and succession planning for senior management.
Mairi MacInnes (Chair)
Mairi MacInnes has numerous roles within her local community relating to Gaelic language and education spanning early years, primary and adult learning. Mairi, former head teacher of Sgoil an Iochdair, was also a member of the 1+2 Approach to Language Learning Group in the Western Isles. Mairi is Chair of Ceòlas Uibhist Ltd, the highly acclaimed Gaelic arts organisation. She has also sat on the board of a number of national organisations, such as the Scottish Arts Council and Comataidh Craoladh Gàidhlig. She was the founding member of Cothrom and a founder member and development worker for Fèis Tìr a’ Mhurain.
Donald MacLeod is a fluent Gaelic speaker from Carloway, Isle of Lewis. He studied Gaelic & Politics at the University of Aberdeen and then pursued a career as a secondary school teacher. He currently teaches Social Subjects and Religious & Moral Education through Gaelic at The Nicolson Institute, Stornoway. He has been involved in a range of organisations including professional associations, trusts, choirs, historical societies, community groups and churches. Donald is the chair of Bòrd na Gàidhlig’s Policy and Resources Committee.
Johan Smith is a native Gaelic speaker from Barvas, Lewis, and studied Gaelic and Sociology at Aberdeen University. During her involvement in cultural tourism, and while working as an Education Development Officer, Johan visited many communities throughout the country supporting local initiatives. Working as a copy-editor and proof-reader over the last 25 years have seen her make a valuable contribution to many of the resources the Gaelic publishing sector has produced. Johan brings to the board first-hand experience of working within the Gaelic community and meeting the challenges of generating support for Gaelic in areas where the importance of the language is, as yet, less recognised.
Allan has been active in Gaelic language and revitalisation for over 40 years and served as a special adviser to the Ministerial Advisory Group on Gaelic. Allan was appointed as CEO to Bòrd na Gàidhlig’s predecessor, Bòrd na Gàidhlig (Alba), and continued to serve as CEO when the current body was established in 2005. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in 2008 by the University of Aberdeen for his contribution to Gaelic language development, and in 2010 was named Gaelic Ambassador of the Year by the Scottish Government. Together with knowledge of Gaelic development Allan also brings to the Bòrd experience in marketing, economic and community development, and broadcasting. Over the years Allan has served on the boards of a wide variety of Gaelic organisations. He is an Honorary Chieftain of Inverness Gaelic Society and was appointed President of An Comunn Gàidhealach in 2017.
Jennifer is a play leader with Cròileagan Dhùn Èideann. Jennifer is a Gaelic learner, recently graduating with a BA in Gaelic and Development from Sabhal Mòr Ostaig. Jennifer is an active committee member of Comann nam Pàrant Dhùn Èideann and served as its convener for two years during the successful campaign for a dedicated Gaelic school in Edinburgh. Jennifer works with the Scottish Government as a policy officer and is a member of the organising committee of Mòd Ionadail Dhùn Èideann.
Dr Stewart Macleod is from the Isle of Lewis, and attended Back School and the Nicolson Institute Stornoway. He studied English Language and Literature at the University of Aberdeen, and obtained a PhD researching the minority languages of Scotland – Gaelic and Scots. He is a qualified accountant and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA). His career has centred on public finance: he has worked in local government in Scotland, has held senior roles with CIPFA, and in recent years has worked in international development projects funded by DFID, the World Bank and EU, contributing technical assistance and financial training to government and other public bodies in more than 25 developing countries. He has been a singing member of Lothian Gaelic Choir since 1998, and has held the office of Gaelic Tutor for the choir since 2018. He is the Chair of the Audit and Assurance Committee.
Donald MacKay was born and raised as a native Gaelic speaker, in the district of Pàirc on the Isle of Lewis. After studying Mechanical Engineering, he pursued a career in the Oil and Gas industry. Initially based in Aberdeen, he then spent 16 years living and working in Asia, Africa, Russia, and Norway, before finally settling back in Aberdeenshire over 10 years ago. He frequently goes back to Lewis.
His time in these overseas locations, learning new languages and cultures, gave him a real appreciation of the value of being bilingual, not just within our own communities but as an asset which can open up opportunities for our people globally.
He brings to his role as a board member of Bord na Gàidhlig 20 years of senior management experience.
Details of Bòrd na Gàidhlig Members’ remuneration are published in the BnG’s Annual Reports and Accounts