Born and raised in Biggar, I moved to North Devon with my family when I was 10, where I attended a comprehensive school. I later studied International Relations at Keele University in Staffordshire, becoming the first person in my family to attend university.
After graduating I lived and worked in London and briefly Australia before returning to Scotland with my husband to raise our twin sons, who are now 14 years old. I began my masters degree in Development Management part-time whilst also managing a highly complex and demanding eco-house building project.
I graduated for the second time in 2012 having learnt a great deal about managing change to improve countries.
I became involved in Women for Independence in the build up to the 2014 Scottish Independence referendum and served on the national committee. I have also worked at the think tank Common Weal, where I was head of Campaigns and Advocacy.
Elected in 2016, I am proud to represent Edinburgh Eastern, a diverse and vibrant constituency. I am committed to representing the interests and concerns of residents, groups and businesses both in the Constituency and in Parliament.
I am happy to meet with constituents and provide support for specific issues or community projects in any way I can.
I am particularly interested in the importance of a strong and vibrant civil society, achieving institutional ‘buy in’ and the power of resources being managed to benefit the people.
In June 2018, I was promoted to the position of Minister for Community Safety.