​The Board brings together individuals drawn from a range of industries and backgrounds who are committed to an exciting future for the Citizens Theatre.

Current Board members

Paul Mcnamee (Chair)

Paul McNamee is UK editor of The Big Issue.

He started out on local newspapers in Northern Ireland before co-founding Belfast-based Irish music magazine Blank with Colin Murray over 25 years ago. He moved to the NME in London and subsequently worked for a number of newspapers and magazines,amongst them the Daily Mirror, The Guardian, Belfast Telegraph and The Irish Times. He was appointed The Big Issue UK editor in 2011.

He has guided The Big Issue through a shift to digital-first output.

He has been named British Editor of The Year three times by the BSME (British Society of Magazine Editors 2013, 2016, 2022), was named Editor of the Year four times by the leading publishing industry body PPA Scotland, was inducted into the PPA Scotland Hall of Fame in 2021 and voted BSME Editors Editor of the year in 2021.

He is a regular contributor to news, politics and sports shows on the BBC and Sky.


Susan Aitken

Susan Aitken has been Leader of Glasgow City Council since May 2017 and is the first SNP Leader of the Council. For her work to deliver equal pay justice for thousands of women in the city, she was awarded Scottish Local Government Politician of the Year.

Under her leadership Glasgow has been named the host of COP26, a Global Green City, and the European Capital of Sport for 2023. She is currently co-chair of UK100, a network of local leaders committed to delivering Net Zero, and an advisory board member of the Cities Climate Investment Commission, which is addressing the challenge of financing Net Zero transition in major cities across the UK.

Susan has worked in a variety of policy and research roles in the Scottish Parliament and the third sector, and as a freelance writer and editor specialising in health and social care policy. She is a graduate of both Glasgow and Strathclyde Universities.


Gemma Bodinetz is the Director and CEO of The Lir, National Academy of Dramatic Art at Trinity College, Dublin. Previously she was Director of Drama, Dance, Production and Film at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland from 2021-2023. She was the Artistic Director of the Everyman and Playhouse Theatres in Liverpool from 2003-2020. She won Best Director Award at the UK Theatre Awards 2017 and was the Artistic lead on the RIBA Stirling Prize winning rebuild of the Everyman Theatre. She was on the capital steering group for The Bristol Old Vic redevelopment and is a former board member of Headlong Theatre.

Before becoming the Artistic Director of the Liverpool theatres Gemma was a freelance director working at most of the major UK theatres including The Royal Court, Royal Shakespeare Company, National Theatre, Bristol Old Vic, Leeds Playhouse and Hampstead Theatre. Gemma has had several productions transfer to the West End and Off-Broadway.

During her time as Artistic Director of the Liverpool Theatres, Gemma co-produced several productions with the Citizens’ and is now very proud to be a board member and part of the theatre’s next chapter.

Dominic Hill

Dominic has been Artistic Director and Joint CEO of the Citizens Theatre since 2011. He is regarded as one of the best classical drama directors in the UK and has received numerous awards for his productions including six CATS Awards for Best Director.

During his tenure at the Citizens, he has secured an unrivalled reputation for presenting bold new interpretations of classic texts that are relevant to contemporary audiences. He has frequently directed co-productions with the National Theatre of Scotland, Royal Lyceum Theatre, Bristol Old Vic and many other partners across the UK as well as for Scottish Opera, Royal Shakespeare Company and Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre.

Before joining the Citizens, he was Artistic Director of the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh and Joint Artistic Director of Dundee Rep. He has directed in theatres in London and throughout the UK.

Jackie Kay

Jackie Kay was born and brought up in Scotland. She is the author of—among other books—The Adoption Papers, which won the Forward Prize, Red Dust Road, winner of the Scottish Book of the Year Award, Trumpet, and the Costa-shortlisted Fiere. She has also written for the stage, radio and television. She was the third Makar, or National Poet for Scotland (2016-2021) and is Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University.

John McElwee

John graduated from St Andrews University and worked for nearly 30 years for Marks and Spencer.  He spent half his career in finance, and then having gained an MBA from Strathclyde Graduate Business School, transferred to HR.  His later roles within Marks and Spencer included Head of Graduate Recruitment, Head of HR for Scotland and Head of Reward. 

Currently John is a lay member of Employment Tribunals Scotland, and for the Social Entitlement Chamber in Scotland. Since retiring from Marks and Spencer John has also been a lay assessor with the National Clinical Assessment Service.  John is qualified in workplace mediation and has worked with a number of Scottish Councils. Throughout John’s career he has been actively involved in other organisations and forums ranging from an advisor to the Edinburgh International Festival, Director of The Association of Graduate Recruiters, Chair of SBC’s Employability Leadership Group and worked on the Government's Employee Engagement Task Force. 

Since retiring John has become increasingly involved with the Citizens Theatre. He has attended all levels of the theatre’s adult drama classes, was a member of the Citizens Panel to appoint two artists in residence, conducted historic tours of the building for four years prior to its temporary closure for redevelopment, and acts as HR advisor to the management team.

Louise Welsh

Louise Welsh is the author of eight novels including The Cutting Room, The Plague Times Trilogy and The Second Cut. 

Louise has a ten-year practice in opera with composer Stuart MacRae. Their most recent opera is Anthropocene. She has also written for the stage and has presented over thirty BBC Radio features. Louise was co-founder and director of the Empire Café, an award winning multi-disciplinary exploration of Scotland’s relationship with the North Atlantic slave trade. 

She has received numerous awards and international fellowships, including a Doctor of Arts from the Open University and an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program. She is Professor of Creative Writing at University of Glasgow.

Other board members include:

Judith Patrickson, financial consultant
NEIL McKAY, managing director of urban union ltd