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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

Margaret Mary Rafferty (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.

David Yeoman (Vice Chair)

David is a late Diagnosed Autistic Savant. Before a medical retirement, David was a language behaviour strategist, executive coach working across business and sport, including well -known Scottish Premier League football clubs and the Scottish Football Management Team. In business for CEOs, and their teams within large organisations, creating Cultures of Operational Excellence. David being acknowledged as the bedrock and enabler for the awards won. David is passionate about Autistics & Neurominorities being accommodated for in all environments through the prism of the social model.

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

Lynne Laverty

Lynne has recently established her own Training & Consultancy business. She has over 18 years of experience in supporting autistic individuals and their families through her work in the voluntary sector and as a Governor at two specialist schools. She spent 12 years as Managing Director of a London based ADHD and autism support charity with responsibility for strategy, governance, operations, funding and HR. In addition, Lynne was responsible for the creation and delivery of their 8-week Understanding Autism course for parents, and the creation and delivery of training to schools, health, social care and private organisations.

Lynne has an MEd in Autism and an MSc in Voluntary Sector Management.

Lynne’s passion for supporting autistic individuals and their families comes from being the parent of two brilliant autistic young adults.

Suzanne Ferguson

Suzanne has lived experience as the parent of a child on the autism diagnosis pathway. Passionate about social justice issues, Suzanne has worked in Local Government policy and strategic planning roles focused on tackling inequalities, children’s rights and health and social care integration. In 2022, Suzanne joined the Civil Service and works for the Scottish Government. She graduated in 2006 with a Law Degree from the University of Glasgow, has a Masters degree in Human Rights and International Politics and a Postgraduate Certificate in Public Health.

Margaret Orr

Margaret has extensive experience in local authority and independent special school provision having been a Principal Teacher of Learning Support, Assistant Head Teacher, Advisor in Additional Support Needs (Strathclyde Region) and Head of Service for ASN (Glasgow City). On a national basis she was a member of the National CPD Team and actively engaged with the independent special school sector. She currently chairs the National Commissioning Group established post the Doran Review. In her work as an Independent Consultant focussed on leadership support and school development within the sector, she is also the named link with the General Teaching Council on Professional Update. She has a particular interest in autism and has worked with New Struan for some years.

Chris Thomson

Chris is the Head of Financial Reporting for a large multinational company and he has 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, financial controls, 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. 

Fiona Clarke

Fiona is a disability advocate and consultant who seeks to improve the rights of autistic people. As a committee member of the Autistic Mutual Aid Society Edinburgh, executive director of the European Council of Autistic People and member of the Scottish Parliament Cross Party Group on Autism, Fiona is active in the autism communities. Fiona was a parent representative on the Autism Strategy Review Group and now inputs to the new Scottish Government Leadership and Engagement Framework. Fiona has advised on the development of autism material for NHS Education Scotland and was on the Working Group for the Royal College of Psychiatrist’s report on Autism in Adults (CR228).

After graduating with an honours degree in Economics, Fiona qualified as a Chartered Accountant and also brings with her experience of governance, risk and finance having worked in the financial sector for 19 years.

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 spent his executive career in railways, working on the planning and design of some of the world's largest projects; and holding senior positions with rail operators in the UK on major change programmes.  He is now a portfolio Non-Executive Director. This has covered the transport, education, care and sport sectors, bringing a broad range of skills and experience.  In addition to his role with Scottish Autism he is currently serving as the Chair of Crossrail International, on the Board of Dublin Bus, and was recently elected as Vice President of the Scottish Rugby Union. 

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.  



Joe Long

Director of Practice and Innovation 

Joe joined the executive team in 2023 after ten years at Scottish Autism. He leads on Practice Development; Public Policy and Campaigning; Research; Marketing and Communications; and Income Generation. Joe is committed to the meaningful inclusion of autistic people in decision-making at all levels within Scottish Autism and coordinates the strategy to improve this aspect of the organisation’s practices and governance.

Joe has a PhD in Social Anthropology and worked in academia prior to joining Scottish Autism in order to establish the organisation’s participatory research programme. He also draws on many years’ experience in direct support roles within autism and learning disability services. 

Pauline McDonald

Director of Operations

Pauline joined the team in July 2022 bringing extensive experience within the field of learning disability, autism, mental health, homelessness services, and complex service delivery. Having had extensive experience of working as Director of Services with another large care provider, she is very skilled in relation to leading teams to provide the quality of service required for each person.

Pauline is committed to delivering the highest quality of service to autistic people, ensuring person led services, working with teams who are innovative, striving for excellence with a strong values and human rights-based approach. 


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.