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Crichton Conversation with Professor Paul Gray


23rd Jan 2024

£ Price



Doors open at 6:30pm with tea and coffee available, the lectures- will start promptly at 7:30pm.


Easterbrook Hall

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Professor Paul Gray
Tuesday 23rd January 2024, 7:30 pm
Public discourse – better disagreement?

The Crichton Foundation is delighted to welcome Professor Paul Gray to deliver the first Crichton Conversation of 2024. Paul is an experienced senior executive leader in public service, with a strong emphasis on ethical and compassionate leadership, transparency and collaborative working for the benefit of those we serve.  He is committed to public accountability and experienced in leading delivery and change in complex systems.

Paul joined the civil service in 1979, having left school earlier that year to work on a farm.  He began as a clerical officer before transferring into computing. He then moved to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board and was responsible for their computer section and their appeals casework. His next role was to lead on fisheries quota management and licensing, including UK wide and EU negotiation. He then returned to digital where he was responsible for the implementation of technology and systems for the Scottish Parliament. His final role in digital was the head of the digital profession and director of technology for the Scottish Executive.

Paul then moved on to policy roles, the first of which was Director of Social Justice and then Director of Primary and Community care in NHS Scotland, and then HR Director in the Scottish Government, where he led a substantial restructuring across the whole organisation. He was appointed Director General for Rural Affairs, Environment and Services in 2009, Director General for Governance and Communities in 2010, and in late 2013, Chief Executive of NHS Scotland and Director General for health and social care.

Paul left the civil service in early 2019 and now has a portfolio of roles including the Open University, University of Glasgow, the Care Inspectorate in Scotland and the Royal College of Physicians Edinburgh, as well as consultancy work.

Paul is a Patron of Medics Against Violence. He is married with three adult children and four grandchildren, who he describes as a source of joy and perspective.

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