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Meet our people

Meet EMMS International Trustees and our senior leadership team

Our volunteer trustees bring experience from a variety of relevant fields to give oversight to the vitally important work undertaken by EMMS International, whilst ensuring good governance in all that we do.

Our senior leadership team bring their expertise to deliver strategic outcomes in the programmes we develop and implement with our partners, in some of the world's poorest communities.


John Cowie

Chair of Trustees

John is a minister of the Church of Scotland in Edinburgh. He grew up in Edinburgh and, with a degree in Chemical Physics from Edinburgh University, spent three years teaching science and music at Murree Christian School (MCS) in Pakistan.

He studied for the ministry at Edinburgh University, and his first charge was in Kirkcaldy, Fife. After six years, he and his wife Gill took their three young children to the Netherlands, where he spent 23 years as minister of the English Reformed Church (ERC) in Amsterdam. For the last 13 years he was also Clerk to the Presbytery of Europe.

John and Gill returned to Scotland in 2013. They are now well settled in Edinburgh and enjoy the multicultural environment of Stockbridge. After growing up in the Netherlands, their three children returned to the UK for study, and now live in Edinburgh and London. John enjoys music and plays bassoon in the back row of the Stockbridge and New Town Community orchestra, as well as in the digital world.

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Calum Gubby


Calum works in the accounts and business advisory department of a global accountancy firm within its Scottish offices of Edinburgh and Glasgow. His particular focus concerns the preparation of complex annual accounts for high-value companies in a diverse range of industries. 


He also has experience in acting as a trusted advisor and forming close working relationships with clients to implement innovative processes and digital improvements. 


As a chartered certified accountant, he brings financial insight to the board of trustees and oversees the financial function of EMMS. He sits on the Church of Scotland World Mission Council, where he advises on fundraising strategies and events; and serves as the Organist of Liberton Kirk, a position he has held for over ten years. 


In his student days, Calum was Youth Representative to Corstorphine Community Council and the Treasurer of a community wind band in Edinburgh

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Ann McKechin


Ann graduated in law from the University of Strathclyde and is a qualified solicitor. After a substantial career in private legal practice she was elected in 2001 as Member of Parliament for Glasgow Maryhill and from 2005 to 2015 represented the Glasgow North seat. During her parliamentary career, she served on several select committees including Scottish Affairs, International Development, Arms Export Control and latterly on the Business, Innovations & Skills committee. Between 2008 and 2010 she was appointed as a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Scotland Office and from 2010 to 2011 was Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland in the Labour Shadow Cabinet. After leaving politics she worked as Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Scottish Power which she left in 2019 to pursue a portfolio career. She is currently Chair of the Scottish Prison Service Advisory Board and Vice Chair of Public Health Scotland. In addition she is a member of the General Optical Council Hearings Panel,  the General Chiropractic Council Professional Conduct Committee and the board of Smart Energy GB which runs the UK smart metering campaign.

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Helen Morrison


Dr Helen Morrison has a background in healthcare and particularly in the field of Palliative Care. Helen worked in the NHS for 24 years after studying medicine at the University of Glasgow. After completing postgraduate specialist training, she became a Consultant in Palliative Medicine and worked in the regional cancer centre serving the West of Scotland. 


Having recently stopped working in the NHS, she is now involved in freelance work and some voluntary activities.


Helen is married to Donald and they have two teenage children. They are all very active members of Glasgow City Free Church, which has been their church family for many years.

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Tawachi Nyasulu


Tawachi is a telecommunications engineer. She worked in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) unit of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Malawi for 8 years before coming to the UK for further studies. Over the years, she has developed a passion for technological solutions for business productivity and socio-economic development.


Tawachi is also passionate about Christian student ministry. She has been a member and has volunteered in various capacities at the Student Christian Organisation of Malawi (SCOM) since 1998, through which she has developed skills in Christian stewardship, mentoring and training of students. She congregates at Adelaide Place Baptist Church in Glasgow where she serves on the welcome team. 

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Thorsten König


Before coming to Scotland in 2019, Thorsten worked in the food ingredients industry-leading R&D groups worldwide for over twenty years. He brings a lot of international business and leadership experience to EMMS International.

For many years Thorsten was an Elder and treasurer of the English Reformed Church in Amsterdam, Church of Scotland.

Thorsten and his wife Astrid live near Glasgow. Astrid works as a paediatric ENT consultant at the Royal Children’s Hospital, and Thorsten went back to university to train to become a minister in the Church of Scotland.

Thorsten has a long-standing relationship with Mulanje Mission Hospital in Malawi, which he and Astrid have visited on a regular base. Thorsten is also the Chairman of the Mulanje Mission Hospital Charitable Trust.

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Cathy Ratcliff

CEO and Director of International Programmes
Sustainable Development professional and Development Discourse analyst


Cathy has worked in sustainable development continuously since 1992, in a career which has included frequent forays into academia - MA in French and Russian at Aberdeen University (1985), MSc in Social and Public Policy at Edinburgh University (2000) and PhD in Russian at Edinburgh University (2017), on attitudes towards Africa, aid and development.

Cathy has studied in Leningrad, taught English in Inner Mongolia, run Scottish European Aid’s Romania desk, led Edinburgh’s One World Shop, lived and worked in Ethiopia, and led programmes departments in Mercy Corps, SCIAF and EMMS International, of which she is now CEO, improving health and healthcare in Malawi, Nepal and Bihar. Cathy founded small NGO Thrive in 2016 and runs it with 4 other women. Cathy has long been a trustee of Scotland’s International Development Alliance, and in 2022 became its Chair.

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Laura Brown

Director of Fundraising and Communications

Laura has worked in development roles since 1990, both for local authority, and the third sector.  Her first venture into the development field was shortly after studying BA(hons) Design at Duncan of Jordanston School of Art, Dundee, where she managed the development of a local arts centre.  From there, Laura secured funding for several local authority arts and museum development programmes, from The National Lottery, Creative Scotland and ERDF (European Regional Development Funds) as well as leading the audience development, event, and marketing function.  She undertook consultancy, event management, and PR activity for Visit Scotland and Unique Productions.  From there, Laura moved to the third sector, heading up national fundraising teams with Diabetes UK Scotland, before account managing a UK wide Tesco charity partnership. Latterly, Laura led the development of corporate partnerships in UK and Europe for Mission to Seafarers.

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Douglas Clarke

Director of Finance

Douglas joined EMMS in 2015 and is currently the Director of Finance and Company Secretary.  He manages all financial aspects from day to day processing, preparation of accounts, reporting to funders and strategic forecasting, and also compliance with the reporting requirements of the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator and Companies House.  A CA by profession, Douglas spent twenty years working in corporate banking before moving into the charity sector.  He was attracted to EMMS’s vision of a just world in which all people have access to good quality and dignified healthcare.

Douglas lives with his family in East Lothian and enjoys walking the many beaches in the area and exploring the countryside.  He is Treasurer of his local church and also plays baritone saxophone in a swing band.

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