Ken is the former Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament and now works as a political consultant on good governance projects across the Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Central and Eastern Europe.
Before entering the Scottish Parliament, Ken was a senior television producer for BBC News, working on a range of flagship news and current affairs programmes. He was elected to the Scottish Parliament in 1999 and served on the front bench in various portfolios including Finance, Education, Culture, and Housing. In 2016 he was elected to serve as the Scottish Parliament’s Presiding Officer successfully steering the institution through the politically stormy waters of the Brexit and Scottish constitutional reform debates as well as coping with the sudden and dramatic impact of the Covid pandemic. As Speaker, Ken established the Independent Commission on Parliamentary Reform, winning support for his plans to refresh a range of parliamentary procedures and practices. He chaired the Parliaments’ Corporate body as well as the think tank, Scotland’s Futures Forum.
Ken is a member of the Privy Council, a board member of Revenue Scotland, a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, as well as a Trustee of several charities including the Bank of Scotland Foundation. He is married to Claire and the couple live in Busby, just outside Glasgow, with their six children.