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Home > About Us > Meet the Team

Meet the Team

We know that the quality of our service is directly related to the quality of our people and that is why we invest in our staff to ensure we maintain a talented and committed workforce. As an organisation delivering an autism-specific service, it is imperative that our staff receive appropriate training and learning opportunities to develop their expertise and maintain our high standards.

In 2011 we formally established an in-house Training Team which allows for more centralised, co-ordinated and efficient delivery of training across our large staff team which includes in excess of 500 people delivering front line services and 300 in management and support functions.

Board Members - Office Bearers

Peigi Macarthur (Chair)

Having worked in schools with various roles and responsibilities, Peigi retired from her professional career as a Head Teacher and stood down as Chair of the Secondary Head Teachers' Group.  Since retiring she has been involved in project work with the City of Edinburgh Council focusing on Leadership Development as well as various peer-led teenage education projects.

Margaret Mary Rafferty (Vice Chair)

Appointed to the Board in 2019, Margaret Mary was previously the Chief Executive at Ceteris for over ten years.  She has a wealth of property management experience as well as business development, sales, marketing and financial management knowledge.  Margaret Mary has personal experience of the value of support Scottish Autism offers to autistic people and their families.

Paul Nelson (Treasurer)

Paul is a retired managing director who lives in Dunblane. He was educated at Queens University of Belfast and spent his career in a variety of commercial businesses. Paul has a broad range of skills in management and   negotiation and also has a strong history of community and voluntary work, notably as a local councillor, business   advisor to the Scotland Office, working on a school board and various professional associations, and making tea at Dunblane Memory cafe.

Board Members - Other Directors

Chris Thomson

Chris is a Tax Director with experience across a range of sectors including support services, financial services and energy. He is a qualified Chartered Accountant and brings experience in the areas of accounting, finance, tax, risk management, governance and strategy. He also has lived experience of autism.

He holds an undergraduate degree in Accounting & Finance from the University of Glasgow and an MBA from Strathclyde Business School.

Chris Harte

Chris Harte has been Chief Executive of Morton Fraser LLP since 2013. Morton Fraser is a leading Scottish law firm with offices in Edinburgh and Glasgow. The firm has a total headcount of around 300 staff, working across a wide range of sectors and with a wide range of clients - from large PLCs, owner-managed businesses, major clearing banks and angel investors to house-builders, property developers, central and local government and private individuals. As Chief Executive, Chris is responsible for the overall management and delivery of the firm's business vision and objectives. He also retains a fee-earning role as a Partner in the firm's Commercial Real Estate Team and has particular experience in major development schemes in the hotel, licensed and leisure sectors. 

Jacqueline Conway

Jacqueline is a consultant and advisor working internationally with executive leaders to effectively manage uncertainty,  complexity and non-linear risk. Her focus is on the related areas of strategic foresight, complex change and adaptive  leadership working across the public and private sectors. Her work combines academic rigour with deep practicality. She  is a certified professional futurist, has a PhD in executive team functioning from the Adam Smith Business School;  trained as a coach at the Tavistock Institute and is a certified Systemic Team Coach.

Fiona Clarke

Fiona is a consultant who has worked with a range of organisations, including NHS Education Scotland and Scottish Women’s Autism Network. Fiona is on the Scottish Parliament Autism Cross Party and Scottish Government Strategy Review Groups and works voluntarily in schools with children who have additional support needs.  After graduating with an honours degree in Economics, Fiona qualified as a Chartered Accountant and also brings with her experience of governance and finance having worked in the financial sector for 19 years.

Dianne Dixon

Dianne has worked for over twenty years in Higher Education in Scotland and is an experienced leader and manager of corporate functions, including Recruitment, Access and Admissions.

Keith Wallace

Keith is a Chartered Engineer and a Chartered Director with a wealth of board experience and a keen interest in corporate governance.  He has spent his executive career in railways, working on the planning and design of some of the world's largest projects; and more recently holding senior positions with rail operators in the UK on major change programmes.  His non-executive work covers rail, education and sport, bringing a broad range of skills and experience

Andrew McKechanie

Andrew is a consultant psychiatrist and research fellow in autism and intellectual disability research, dividing his time between NHS clinical work and university-based research endeavours. His research work includes brain-imaging, genetic and quality-of-life studies, with a view to translate research findings into meaningful benefits.

Alison Leask

Alison has 25 years of clinical nursing experience and since 1996 has had a professional and personal interest in autism.  She was a founding member of Autism Argyll and has been involved in many autism initiatives at local and national level.  Alison was leader of the NHS Education for Scotland project developing autism information resources, particularly in relation to assessment and diagnosis.  Alison qualified with an MSc in Autism in 2007 and was a member of the Scottish Government Autism Reference Group until 2015.

Senior Leadership Team

Dorry McLaughlin

Chief Executive 

Dorry joins Scottish Autism from Viewpoint where she was Chief Executive for eight years. Dorry has worked in housing, support and care services for some 25 years, following spells in local government and with the housing regulator in England. Although much of Dorry’s experience in recent years has been around working with older people many of the issues autistic people face will share a similar dynamic. Dorry brings to Scottish Autism expertise in leading the development of innovative services which support people who often live with complex needs.  

Charlene Tait

Deputy CEO

Charlene Tait has worked in the field of autism for twenty eight years. In that time she has been engaged in direct practice and service development. She was lecturer and Course Director in Postgraduate Autism studies at the University of Strathclyde and has been involved in a number of national strategic initiatives. Charlene’s time in autism began in 1990 with Scottish Autism (then Scottish Society for Autistic Children), she returned to the organisation in 2011 to take up the post of Director of Development and is now Deputy CEO.

Her main areas of interest are in family support and enabling quality of life and quality lifestyles for people across the autism spectrum.

Katherine Wainwright

Director of People and Culture

Katherine joins Scottish Autism as Director of People and Culture with c.20 years of strategic leadership experience in social care, voluntary sector, social enterprise, consultancy and voluntary board roles. Katherine brings to Scottish Autism expertise in leading people functions, national workforce matters, collaborative working, and strategic change- with a focus on culture and values. She is committed to the voluntary sector, enabling people and inclusion.

Jackie Latto

Director of Autism Services

Jackie’s journey with Scottish Autism started in 2006 when she was appointed as Director of Autism services. It’s a huge job with operational responsibility spanning over both adults services and new Struan school and residency.

For some 20 years before that, she worked in social work managing a diverse range of services from learning disability, mental health, domestic abuse and out of hours emergency. Her expertise in service delivery and development has enabled service quality to improve and innovative new services to be developed.

Simon Hunt

Director of Finance and Corporate Affairs

Simon is both a chartered accountant and a people person.  He has held wide-ranging senior roles in the charity, public and private sectors, in the UK and overseas.  He also has a wealth of voluntary experience, from supporting disadvantaged members of the community through to non-executive Board and committee positions across a broad range of charities.  He especially values the opportunity this role gives him to spend time with autistic people and their families, and experience at first hand the extraordinary difference the staff of Scottish Autism make.