Public Appointments Advisers

Public Appointments Advisers oversee regulated public appointments on behalf of the Commissioner.

Neelam Bakshi


We appointed Neelam in October 2015.

Neelam is an independent Training Consultant and Coach.

Neelam moved from community activism into political activity as a trade union representative, and elected councillor (the former Strathclyde Regional Council). Her professional career includes being a civil servant, local government manager (Fife Council), and an independent Training Consultant, Researcher and Coach. She is a Certified Trainer of NLP and specialises in personal development, governance, and equality and diversity. Neelam has extensive governance experience. She was a non-executive with the Scottish Government - covering Health and Wellbeing, Education & Lifelong Learning, and the Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service. Former roles include being a Governor of Jordanhill College of Education, Member of Health Scotland’s Board and of the Equal Opportunities Commission Scotland Advisory Committee. She was also appointed to the Women Councillors’ Taskforce on increasing minority ethnic representation in public life in Britain. Currently, she is a Non-Executive (and Staff Governance Committee Chair) in the Scottish Ambulance Service, as well as being a lay member of Employment Tribunals and a lay member of the Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland. Neelam served as a Member of the Equality and Human Rights Commission Scotland from 2011 to 2016 and the BBC Audience Council Scotland from 2011 to 2017.

Neelam is a Fellow of the RSA.




Julie Bellanfante


We appointed Julie in October of 2015.

Julie runs her own Employment Consultancy.  She is an accredited trade union official providing employment law services for employees and HR consultancy services to small and medium sized firms.  She designs bespoke recruitment, selection and induction materials for business and delivers training in recruitment, disciplinary and redundancy procedures.

The early part of her career was spent in the public sector in education as a Senior Lecturer and Head of Department, latterly in local government responsible for the appointment of Headteachers and negotiating teacher’s pay and conditions. She was also Regional Manager for Yorkshire and Humberside with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport developing and delivering education programmes across the region.  Julie held the position of Director of Education Action Zones across the North funded by the Education Department.  She was instrumental in the development of teaching assistants in schools, recognised by ministers in central government, the role which is now common place in schools.

She held the position of Non-Executive Director with a Primary Care Trust holding the positions of Audit Chair to the Board, Race Equality Lead, Child Protection Advisor and Children’s Lead. 

Julie brings a breadth of experience in community development within the voluntary sector including consultant advisor to the development of Sure Start across Yorkshire communities.  She was a member of the Independent Community Advisory Group advising the Police Strategic Board on the implementation of the McPherson recommendations.  Julie has experience of negotiating and accessing the European Social Fund on behalf of community groups supporting the long term unemployed back to education, training and work and has worked in Brussels at the EU advising MEPs on local initiatives.

Jayam Dalal


We appointed Jayam in September 2015

Jayam is a freelance marketing Consultant with over 25 years experience in research, communications/PR, consumer engagement and change management initially starting with Ernst & Young, subsequently working freelance in the public, private and voluntary sector.  She has worked at the Cabinet Office, to encourage more women and ethnic minorities to apply for public appointments, and was an Advisor with Sussex Police for 13 years.

She is a member of the Tribunal Procedure Committee, an appointment by the Lord Chief Justice, and on the Judicial College's Panel of Experts for Religion and Belief.  In this capacity she recently updated the Hinduism section of the Equal Treatment Bench Book.

She is a Lay Member of the Residential Property Tribunal, First Tier Tribunal Property Chamber, and has previously been a Non Executive Director with 3 housing associations.

Jayam is on the Governing Board of the  Coastal West Sussex NHS Clinical Commissioning Group as a Lay Member, Public & Patient Involvement, and is a Lay Representative with Health Education England's NHS Pan London Quality & Regulation Unit.

For 9 years she was an Independent Public Appointments Assessor with the Department of Culture, Media & Sport, as well as with Food Standards Agency and DEFRA.  She is a graduate member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing

Matt Drynan

We appointed Matt in April 2012

Matt has spent the largest part of his 38 year career to-date in the management and development of organisations and human resources. Twenty-three of those years were in senior manager positions with three multi-national corporations and the remainder working as a successful independent consultant.  He brings in-depth experience of delivering the Investors in People assessment process. This, combined with his consultancy activities has seen him involved with over 400 organisations in the public, private and voluntary sectors across the U.K.  These have included large retail organisations, a number of the uniformed services, the banking and finance sector, the National Health Service and a number of manufacturing and professional service organisations.

He has a B.Sc from Strathclyde University and an MBA from the Open University.

Kay Hampton

We appointed Kay in April 2012.

Kay is Professor of Communities and Race Relations and holds a PhD Sociology specializing in applied research and social policy. She has held senior positions at Glasgow Caledonian University, The University of Durban-Westville, SA and the Strategic Planning Department at Durban City Council, SA. Kay has spent most of her time actively applying her academic knowledge in practical contexts, shaping policies and strategies in government, public and voluntary sectors. More recently she was Chair/Deputy Chair and Scotland Commissioner of the commission for Racial Equality, Scottish Chair and UK Board member of the BIG lottery Fund and Trustee of several Scottish Voluntary organisations. She is currently Commissioner of the Scottish Human Rights Commission, Member of Scottish Children’s Hearings system, Trustee of the Scottish Association for Mental Health, Council Member of the Law Society in Scotland and an Ambassador for BTCV, a UK environmental charity. She works as a freelance researcher and trainer, specializing in ethical governance; risk management and regulation, strategic planning; equality, diversity and human rights and social justice.

She is a fellow of The Higher Education Academy and the RSA.



Jennifer Hawksworth

We appointed Jennifer in May 2008

Prior to setting up her own consultancy in 2002, Jennifer was European human resources director for a FTSE100 healthcare company. She also worked for a leading executive search company in Edinburgh as director of boardroom development. She designs and delivers assessment centres for selection and personal development in her current role and has coached and mentored senior executives throughout her career. Jennifer is an Employment Tribunal lay member and was a board member of the Scottish Arts Council from 2003 to 2007.

Ali Jarvis


We appointed Ali in May 2008.

She has worked across the public, private and voluntary sectors. She spent the early part of her career in marketing and human resources for a number of international FTSE100 companies working globally on strategy development, organisational change management and diversity. More recently Ali has been director of the Commission for Racial Equality and of Stonewall in Scotland. Ali works as a freelance consultant and coach specialising in leadership, strategic change management, public engagement and equality. She is also a council member of the Scottish Funding Council and a board member of NHS Health Scotland.


Ali was also appointed as the interim Chair of Glasgow Colleges Regional Board from May 2015 to February 2016. This was a ministerial public appointment and Ali was brought in on an interim basis following the resignation of the former Chair. The role lasted only until a permanent appointment was made through the normal public appointments process.


Paul Matheson

Paul has been with us since January 2002.

Paul's background is in equality & diversity strategy, performance inspection, and training & development. He has worked with the Police Service and with Local Government. Paul has undertaken equality and diversity training & consultancy work for various organisations.  He has an MA Honours in Celtic Languages and Literature from Edinburgh University, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Hindi from Kendriya Hindi Sansthan in India. He is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.


Elaine Noad


We appointed Elaine Noad in September 2015.  Elaine worked for most of her career in Local Government, with her last post being Director of Social Work Housing and Health with South Ayrshire Council.  She has a background in equalities, including the role of Commissioner for Scotland with the Disability Rights Commission from 2000-2007, and Member of the Scotland Committee of the Equality And Human Rights Commission from 2011-2015.  She has held a number of public appointments and voluntary roles in the last ten years, including Non Executive Director with the Scottish Government, Board Member with the Mental Welfare Commission For Scotland, and voluntary trustee roles with local charities.  She has a Degree in Law, a Masters in Criminology, and is currently doing an Open University Degree in Scottish History.

Bill Smith

We appointed Bill in May 2008.

Bill is an independent HR Consultant and Personal Performance Coach

His senior management career commenced in the Post Office, where his roles included Head of Human Resources in Scotland & Northern Ireland, initially for the Parcelforce business, and then for Post Office Counters. Following this, Bill was an HR Consultant at Remploy - a non-departmental public body employing people with a wide range of disabilities - where he wrote an Employers’ Guide on Disability Discrimination. From there he became Head of Learning at Northern Constabulary, and latterly HR Business Partner with the Scottish Police Authority. His wide experience in the public sector has involved Change Management, Pay & Reward, Organisation Development and Employee Relations.  

Bill is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Alec Spencer

We appointed Alec in July 2006.

He retired from the Scottish Prison Service in March 2006, having been governor of a number of prisons before being appointed to the SPS board as Director of Rehabilitation and Care in 2001.

He has a BA Honours in Law and Politics and a post-graduate MA in Criminology. In July 2005 he was appointed an Honorary Professor in the Department of Applied Social Science, Stirling University.

He was co-founder and chair of the Scottish Forum on Prison and Families now Families Outside. He is a Director and Vice Chairman of Includem, a Scottish charity.

Duncan Wallace


We appointed Duncan in October 2015.

Duncan works part time for a mental health charity leading their training department and he is also an independent organisational consultant & coach.

Duncan has a breadth of experience working as an organisational consultant and facilitator in Scotland and internationally. His experience includes supporting organisations on governance development, leadership, restructuring, team building, planning and evaluation. In his coaching practice he has a particular focus on supporting leaders through times of rapid transition, such as when founding and re-shaping their organisation.


Duncan's experience originates in the voluntary sector.  Duncan set up and ran a significant consultancy project with Glasgow Council for the Voluntary Sector before setting up his own business.  From his original training in system psychodynamic approaches with the Scottish Institute of Human Relations (now Human Development Scotland), Duncan has continued to train with the Tavistock Institute and the Bayswater Institute. He has an enduring interest in organisational culture and the unconscious dynamics which affect performance.  In the last few years Duncan has been able to carry out more action research, focusing on the interaction between the human dynamic side and the practical systems development of innovation.

Duncan has a range of qualifications in consultancy, coaching, management and counselling.





Sue Young

We appointed Sue in April 2012.

Sue works as an independent job evaluation consultant in central Government and trainer for NHS Employers. She is Vice Chair of the Lord Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Justices of the Peace and is Deputy Chairman of the General Pharmaceutical Council’s Appointments Group. She was a member of the Commissioner for Public Appointments for England’s Central List of Independent Public Appointment Assessors for 10 years and held public appointments as Chair of NHS bodies in England. Sue is currently a Trustee of a mental health charity and chairs the local addiction charity.  Sue’s early career was in the civil service which she left in 1997.