Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Academic and Professional Experience

  • Currently Head of Policy with SNP MEP Alyn Smith, responsible for relations with the European Parliament and its committees, advising on EU policy issues and politics as well as issues surrounding Europe and Scotland, and was involved in shaping the development of SNP policy over a wide range of EU issues in the run-up to election victory in May 2007.
  • Gained detailed practical experience of, expertise and insight into how the EU institutions work, the various EU policies and processes, and helped to drive the effective representation of Scottish interests within the EU - coalition-building; interacting with the Commission at all levels; drafting Parliamentary questions, opinions and reports, liaising with Scottish stakeholders; policy networking within and beyond the European Parliament; coordinating with SNP at Holyrood and Westminster; and continuing to work with our groups in Scotland and London to ensure joint working for the benefit of Scotland.
  • Spent three years (2001-2004) working as a Senior Research Specialist on Europe in the Scottish Parliament's research department, providing research support and advice to the European and External Relations Committee and other Subject Committees on EU policy matters affecting Scottish domestic issues as well as advising MSPs.
    Gained considerable practical experience of how the Scottish Parliament and its committees work.
  • Working within Holyrood also provided an insight into the issues and difficulties of bringing EU matters into the domestic business of the Scottish Parliament and what needs to happen to ensure there is more effective cooperation between Holyrood and the European Parliament.From this experience I recognise the importance of linking the work of MSPs and MEPs on EU policy issues.
  • PhD in 2004 on the impact of the UK media on the legitimacy of the European Parliament in Britain.
  • Researcher at the Scottish Jean Monnet Centre of European Excellence (based at the University of Glasgow's School of Law).
  • Robert Schuman Scholar at the European Parliament Office in London and joined the EuroInfo Centre Ltd. in Scottish Enterprise in Glasgow as a European Information Officer in 1999.
  • Graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1993 with an MA Honours in European Community Studies and German. Erasmus student at Augsburg University in Germany during 1991/92.

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