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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.

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Ann McKechin

Interim Chair of Trustees

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

Vice Chair

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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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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Danielle De Zeeuw


Dani is a doctor who has worked in the UK as well as South Africa and Fiji. Her interests are in global health and humanitarian ethics. In her spare time, she likes swimming, reading and being outside.

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Jack Holt, BSc, BD, MTh


Jack retired from full time parish ministry in the Church of Scotland at the end of August 2023 after 38 years since his ordination in Glasgow Presbytery where he served as assistant minister in Broom Church, Newton Mearns. This was followed by his induction into three very different parishes: 1986 (Shortlees, Kilmarnock); 1994 (Birse & Feughside, Royal Deeside); and 2011 (Polwarth, Edinburgh). During this time Jack served on various committee and boards of the Church at national and presbytery levels, as a member or convener and also was a Presbytery Clerk for 5 years.

He was the first Chairman of the Birse Community Trust; a post he held for 6 years. He also represented Edinburgh Presbytery on the Merchant Company Endowment Trust for 10 years. As Convener of Edinburgh Presbytery’s World Mission Committee, Jack built up relationships with several Edinburgh-based charities, including EMMS International, highlighting their work to the Presbytery and encouraging his own congregation to enter into a 3-year partnership with EMMS to fund the training of midwives in Malawi.

Jack has been married to Sandra for 43 years. They have three children, all married, and are now grandparents to 5 grand-children. In retirement Jack will continue to pursue his interests: playing the clarinet and guitar, watching old classic movies, dabbling in watercolours, and continuing in theological study.

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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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Joel Popoola


Joel has a background in banking and finance having worked in the sector in Africa for over 15 years. He’s currently Africa Advisor at Estars, the education unit in Esports company.


His responsibilities include leading EStars expansion across Africa continent, envisioning, communication, developing a detailed strategy refresh - market entry, market penetration and growth strategies for the company. Designing and overseeing cascade of strategy into implementation plan, with detail initiatives, projects, metrics and KPIs


As the chair, Institute of Directors, IoD Africa Group, his focus includes but not limited to fostering strategic relationships with 54 Africa Countries, through their diplomatic missions, in the UK to understand the business and investment need of each country in the continent. Distilling these needs and designing pathways to encouraging members and non-members business interest in the continent. 


Joel is also an IoD Ambassador in the North East of England (North), He’s a graduate of Oxford Said’s Executive Leadership Programme.

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Rt Hon Lord Wallace of Tankerness, PC, KC, FRSE


Lord (Jim) Wallace of Tankerness became a Trustee of EMMS International in the autumn of 2023.

He was MP for Orkney & Shetland (1983-2001), and MSP for Orkney (1999-2007). As Scottish Liberal Democrat Leader, he was Deputy First Minister of Scotland 1999-2005, and served as Justice Minister (1999-2003) and Minister for Enterprise & Lifelong Learning (2003-2005).

Created a Life Peer in 2007, Jim was Advocate General for Scotland from 2010 to 2015. He led the Lib Dem Peers from 2013 to 2016 and continues to sit in the House of Lords.

An elder in St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall (where he also sings in the Cathedral Choir), Jim was Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 2021-22.

(Photo released under an Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0) licence.)

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Cathy Ratcliff

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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Sarah Gibson

Director of International Programmes

Sarah has worked in global health since 2003 and holds a BSc in Psychology (University of Dundee, 1989), a Master of Public Health (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2006) and a Post-graduate Certificate in Business Administration (The Open University, 2015.)

Sarah has lived and worked in several sub-Saharan Africa countries from 2003 to 2020, holding the following positions: Senior Country Director, PSI Tanzania (2016 –2020); Country Director, PSI Malawi (2012-2016); USAID Chief of Party, PSI Malawi (2009 – 2012); Director of Communications, PSI Malawi (2008-2009); Research Fellow Institute for Global Health & Development, Queen Margaret University (2007 – 2008); HIV Technical Advisor, Johns Hopkins University Centre for Communication Programs, Ethiopia (2006 -2007); and SBCC Technical Advisor, PSI South Sudan (2006.)


Sarah is results-oriented, global health professional with over 20 years of experience in complex programme management. A confident and skilled communicator, highly effective at: strategy development and planning; programme design, planning, implementation, and evaluation; resource mobilization for programmes; with technical expertise across a broad range of health areas: SRHR, incl. STIs, HIV/AIDS with focus on prevention, Family Planning, adolescent sexual reproductive health, malaria prevention and treatment.

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Laura Brown

Director of Development 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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Chris Owens

Director of Finance

After graduating with an honours degree in Business Economics & Accounting, Chris trained with KPMG as a chartered accountant and has worked in the charity sector for over twenty years and as a Finance Director for most of this time. 

Chris is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and is actively involved in its Charity Community and Finance Directors group in Scotland. Chris is an independent examiner for several Scottish charities, volunteers in his local church and also works as a debt coach with Christians Against Poverty. 

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