BA (Hons), MSc, FRSA
Scottish and European Affairs
Currently an EU Diplomacy and International Relations Student at the College of Europe in Bruges.
With particular focus on European Affairs, I’m passionate about progressive politics at both the domestic and global level; exchanging ideas and best practice between polities, and partnering to tackle global issues and opportunities.
My research interests include Scottish and European Politics, Democracy, Diplomacy, Public Administration, Social Policy, and Sustainability.
My skills include policy, research, campaigns, governance, and communications.
I am a former youth and citizenship activist, with a love for life-changing academia, now pursuing a career in policy and research. Inspired by the opportunity of education, I’m driven to support policies which build a more equitable and inclusive society for all.
Entry-Qualifications in Social Sciences
– Angus College (2010-11)
BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations
– University of Strathclyde (2012-18)
MSc International Relations
– University of Glasgow (2019-20)
MA EU International Relations and Diplomacy Studies
– College of Europe, Bruges (2020-21)
– The Scottish Parliament (2016-20)
Graduate Policy Intern
– University of Strathclyde (2018-19)
– European Policies Research Centre (2016)
President and Chair of the Trustee Board
– Strathclyde Students’ Union (2014-16)
– Royal Society of Arts (2020 – present)
– BETA Europe (2019-20)
Founder & Director-General
– Model European Union Scotland (2016-20)
Many roles as a Student and Youth Representative at Scottish, UK, and EU levels: including Vice President of the National Union of Students Scotland and Scottish EU Youth Ambassador.
Reflecting Scotland’s decision to Remain in the EU, and recognising our ongoing Membership of the Council of Europe, I established the citizens’ campaign in support of efforts by Members of the Scottish Parliament to maintain the flying of the European Flag outside of the Scottish Parliament.
In August 2019 the UK’s body for railway companies announced that the UK would no longer participate in Interrail following Brexit, I founded a petition with NewEuropeans, the FreeInterrail campaign and its Founders Vincent-Immanuel Herr & Martin Speer, and Madelina Kay.
Alongside other campaigners, after nearly 2000 signatures and a letter writing campaign, we succeeded in reversing the UK’s planned exit from Interrail, ensuring future generations will continue to enjoy this iconic rite of passage for young Europeans, and maintaining social ties between our citizens after Brexit.
I am a Campaign Ambassador for the Free Interrail campaign led by Vincent-Immanuel Herr & Martin Speer, which continues to succeed in arguing for free youth passes so that young Europeans can benefit from the life changing experience of travel. So far, the European Commission has supported 50,000 young people with its DiscoverEU programme. I am pleased to be part of this campaign and hope to see it extended further still!
Media & Speaking
Campaigning against the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, and promoting the right of Scotland to maintain its place in the EU. I have spoken on these issues in various campaign positions such as a Spokesperson for the Students for Europe campaign, panelist at national and international discussion panel, and speakers at demonstrations.
I have campaigned on education and youth issues, arguing for more opportunties and support, speaking in the Scottish and European Parliaments, addressing conferences and seminars, and providing commentary in the media.
I am passionate about tackling issues of economic inequality, and have participated in many events to discuss my personal experiences and the role education and support policy has broken barriers in my life.
Speaker: Kilbrandon Lecture on Care Experience; FEANTSA Youth Homelessness Panel at the European Youth Event, Committee Evidence at the Scottish Parliament, and other campaigns.
Beyond campaign roles, I have provided commentary through platforms such as Broadcasting Scotland and articles through Scottish new media websites such as CommonSpace.
Beginning in the next academic term, in the run up to the Glasgow 2021 Climate Summit, I will design and research a dissertation covering the topic of the EU’s Climate Externalisation.
Abstract: Following the formal withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union in January 2020, the Scottish Government has expressed a desire to maintain bilateral engagements at the European level. However, as an ‘external’ sub-state actor outwith the EU’s ‘multi-level governance’ structure, its pathways are unclear. With the UK-EU Future Relationship still to take form on either intimate or divergent positions, the degree to which the Scottish Government will be removed from EU policy areas may determine the form of its EU externalisation. This paper considers the study of ‘sub-state’ diplomacy in International Relations and proposes a categorisation of ‘external’ and ‘internal’ status for sub-state actors vis-à-vis the EU. A comparative analysis of methods utilised by those sub-state actors both inside and out of the EU are outlined, with potential application to the Scottish Government considered.
Abstract: Sub-State Diplomacy is the practice of non-state Governments undertaking actions and activities within the field of international relations. Within the context of the European Union the Scottish Government does not have a formal place alongside the Member State Governments of the EU but it does have its own methods, organisation, and access to formal and informal structures in order to promote its interests. This dissertation seeks to explain how the Scottish Government projects its interests within the European Union, and attempts to investigate whether its efforts are regarded as successful. To achieve this, I undertake a review of literature related to the topics of sub-state diplomacy and regional mobilisation within the European Union which form the foundation of elite semi-structured interviews which I will conduct with senior elected members, civil servants, and experts engaged in both Scottish and European Union affairs. Finally, I will conduct an analysis of Scotland’s externalisation events in Brussels between 2007 and 2017 in order to provide an impact assessment of findings noted in interviews.
Awards & Scholarships
I am honoured to have been selected as one of three Scottish Government Scholars to undertake a year of study at Bruges, since its establishment in 2012 the fund has enabled dozens of Scottish students to pursue further study and employment in Scottish and European Affairs.
I am a proud recipient of the University of Glasgow’s Scholarship for students from under-represented backgrounds in Higher Education who have demonstrated exceptional academic achievement.
As the Founder and President of Model European Union Scotland, I received the National Award for the 2018 Charlemagne Youth Prize, recognising our efforts to promote European citizenship and ties between Scotland and the EU in the post-Brexit landscape. With each of the National Winners, we discussed our citizenship projects with the recipient of the Charlemagne Prize, President Emmanuel Macron, and the Award’s Founder, President Hans-Gert Pöttering.
I was recognised as the Student of the Year in the Scottish NUS Awards in 2012 for my efforts to campaign on national government funding for further education colleges. My campaigning was done entirely alongside my studies and featured an active local campaign utilising media, meetings, and demonstrations.