Eileen Mackay was born in Helmsdale in the northern Highlands. Eileen attended Dingwall Acadeny and the the University of Edinburgh, where she studeid for an honours dgree in Geography.
Eileen is on the board of goveners for the Royal Conservatoire and is also a Board Member of the British Library, Chair of The David Hume Institute and Trustee of the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland and the Court for the Univiersity of Highlands and Islands. She is also on Scottish Ballet’s TramwayAppeal Committee. She is a fellow ofthe Royal Society of Edinburgh, the RoyalScottish Geographical Society, the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Scotland and the Royal Society of Arts.
From 1996 to 2005 she was a Board memberof both the Royal Bank of Scotland Group and the Edinburgh Investment Trust. Other previous appointments include the Econom ic and Social Research Council, the Accountancy Foundation Review Board, Scottish Screen, Scottish Enterprise Edinburgh and Lothian and Scottish Financial Enterprise. She has chaired enquiries into the impact of transport on economic growth( Department of Transport 1999) and into the state of economics in Scottish universities ( Scottish Economic Society,2003).
From 1965 to1996 Eileen Mackay was a civil servant firstly as a research officer in the Department of Employment and laterley as an administrator and policy analyst, chiefly in the Scottish Office but with a five yearspell in HM Treasury and the Cabinet Office from 1978 to 83. As Under-Secretary for Housing in Scotland she chaired the Castlemilk urban partnership in Glasgow for four years. Her final civil service appointment was as the principal finance officer of the Scottish Office. She was made a Companion of the Bath in the Birthday Honours in 1996.
Eileen is married to Sir Muir Russell, Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University of Glasgow. Her interests include reading, holidaying in France and Switzerland and cooking for friends.
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