Louise MacDonald

Advocate for Young People 

Louise Macdonald is Chief Executive of Young Scot, the multi award-winning youth information and citizenship charity. Working in partnership across all sectors, Young Scot aims to support young people aged 11-26 to make informed decisions and choices, and connect them to their communities – contributing to Scotland’s ambition of being the best place in the world for children and young people to grow up. Over 530,000 young people are members of Young Scot, using the Young Scot services to access information and opportunities locally and nationally.

Louise began her career as a journalist with local and national media across the UK, before moving into a career in the voluntary sector. After working at grassroots level, she began to focus on volunteering, and in particular young people’s engagement in communities and their contribution to the wellbeing of the nation.

As well as being CEO of Young Scot, she is an appointed Board member of the Scottish Children’s Reporter Service (SCRA) and Vice Chair of Scotland’s 2020 Climate Group. She serves on a number of Boards, including the Institute of Directors Scotland Committee, the Association of Chief Officers of Scottish Voluntary Organisations and the Scottish Parliament Scotland’s Futures Forum.

Known for her creativity and innovation, as well as being able to lead and deliver change, Louise’s passion for young people and the world they live in has also sparked an interest in human relationships with nature, which included her participating in the internationally acclaimed WWF Scotland “Natural Change” leadership programme. Inspired by her experience on this research project, she has worked with a number of colleagues to establish it as an independent charity in Scotland, the Natural Change Foundation, which she chairs.

“Only connect” is Louise’s motto, and in 2011 she was named Scotland’s inaugural Communicator of the Year by the CIPR in Scotland. A keen exponent of social media, she does a daily photography blog on Blipfoto and was named by the Guardian in 2014 as one of the most “Social CEOs” in the voluntary sector.

Passionate about social justice, feminism, empowering people and communities, Louise is committed to doing all she can to support all young people – both in her own roles,  and also in inspiring other to create places and spaces for young people to thrive, giving them the tools and the opportunity to be agents of change.


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