The Rt. Hon Sir George Reid

George Reid retired as Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament in May 2007.  Previously he served as a Member of the Parliament, of the House of Commons and of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.  He was appointed a member of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom in 2004.

George Reid was educated at Dollar Academy and the University of St Andrews, thereafter doing post-graduate work in international relations and conflict studies in Sweden, Switzerland and the United States.  Currently, he is a visiting professor at the University of Glasgow. He has worked as a producer and journalist for BBC, Granada TV, STV and a number of British and foreign newspapers.  From 1974-79 he was MP (Scottish National Party – SNP) for Clackmannan and East Stirlingshire.

For 12 years thereafter he was Director of Public Affairs for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent in Geneva, working in wars and disasters around the world. In 1989 he was awarded the Pirogov Medal of the USSR for his humanitarian work in Armenia. In 1999 he was elected Member of the Scottish Parliament (SNP) for Mid-Scotland and Fife and Deputy Presiding Officer.  In 2003 he was elected Member for Ochil and Presiding Officer (non-party).  He was named Scottish Politician of the Year in both 2003 and 2005.

Currently, George Reid is Chair of the Steering Group for Governance in the Northern Ireland Assembly, Vice-Chair of the Carnegie Commission on Civil Society, and a Member of the Caucasus-Caspian Commission which reports to the European Union on governance and conflict issues in the region.   

In 2011, he was appointed to two new public positions in London and Cardiff. He is now a UK Electoral Commissioner and Chair of the statutory Remuneration Board of the National Assembly for Wales. The Electoral Commission is responsible for the financial regulation of political parties, the conduct of elections and referendums, and the registration of voters.  The Remuneration Board determines the salaries and allowances of Ministers, Members and staff of the Welsh legislature.

Mr Reid said: “These jobs fit well with my work for the John Smith Trust and its commitment to good governance and the democratic process.”  

Since his retirement from politics when he demitted office as Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament in 2007, George Reid has led strategic reviews and reforms of the Northern Ireland Assembly and the National Trust for Scotland.