Mark Butler - Convener of the National Commission

Mark is responsible for the overall direction and strategy of the National Commission.  He calls on over 25 years’ experience as chair, chief executive and director in health and social care, in the arts, in higher education, and in senior government roles.

After an early career in the NHS, including four years as a hospital chief executive, Mark joined the Scottish Government to lead on public sector change, pay reform and organisational development. For four years he was Director of Human Resources for the NHS, and subsequently joined the First Minister’s Performance and Innovation Unit.


Emily Sheen - Digital Lead

Emily is our digital lead and additionally has oversight of the project team, priorities and project plan.

Emily joined the National Commission in November 2020. She previously worked for PwC in their Data Protection Legal and Compliance Team, in the NHS as the Head of Information Governance for a University Health Board in Wales and in Local Government in governance and engagement roles.

Emily has a particular interest in the use of data in new and developing technologies and how this can be governed to benefit society and wider human rights.


Rory Corn - Place Lead

Rory leads our work on Place, having  joined the National Commission in August 2019 as relationship manager with the commissioners. He played a big role in the commission’s first report in November 2019 and the delivery of half a dozen summits, roundtables and publications.

Rory is passionate about good governance at both organisation and global level, having studied global governance throughout higher education.

Sam Currie - Citizens Lead

Sam is the National Commission lead for Citizens. He has a particular interest in participatory governance and mechanisms of citizen deliberation.

He joined the National Commission in September 2020.

Prior to which, he worked as a Policy Researcher on Rory Stewart’s London Mayoral Election Campaign, focusing on social inclusion and youth civic engagement policies. Sam completed an MSc in Global Politics at the London School of Economics and Political Science, where his research focused on the role of relative deprivation in votes for populist movements.


Emma Williams - Engagement Lead

As Engagement Lead Emma is responsible for the National Commission’s external communication activities and engagement with external partners.

Emma joined the National Commission in September 2020 after graduating from Lancaster University where she studied History and Politics, she has a keen interest in British social issues, human rights and international relations.

During her time at University she volunteered and worked for multiple charities, including Frontline and Barnardo’s which has given her a dedication towards working with organisations that strive to improve society.

Martin Thomas - Copy Editor

Martin is our Copy Editor, responsible for maintaining high quality in all publications from the National Commission


Martin started out several decades ago as a local newspaper journalist before moving to corporate press office, public relations and internal communications work.

For most of the last ten years he has worked as a freelance copywriter for a wide variety of clients ranging from blue-chip multinationals and government departments to family-run Italian cycling companies and small design agencies. His focus is on ensuring that our written material is as clear and engaging as it possibly can be.

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