Herioters President Election 2021

For the first time, the entire former pupil body can now cast a vote for your Herioter President, elected to represent the interests of former pupils of George Heriot’s School.

The Herioter President undertakes several roles on behalf of former pupils, including joining the Development Committee and attending school ceremonies and events, acting as a key link with the school. The Herioter President will work closely with the Development Office to offer advice and support on activities to engage and assist the wider body of former pupils, as well as present their views and ideas directly to the Development Office.

We are delighted to announce that 8 former pupils have chosen to run for the post, currently held by Richie Adams (1987). Information for all of the candidates can be found below. Please note that as this post specifically represents the voices of former pupils, only former pupils are eligible to make one vote each in this election.

The candidates standing in this election are:

Duncan Grant (1961)

George Ross (1963)

Jac Whitehead (née Pentland) (1997)

Jonny Adams (1990)

Keith Downie (1979)

Marc Brandon (2004)

Philippe Boissière (1969)

Ross McAuley (1995)

The vote must include your name, class year and email address/phone number to ensure we can verify your vote. This information will not be shared out with the Development Office and will be destroyed once the final count has been verified.

The election will close on Victoria Day, Monday 24 May, 2021, with the results published on the school website on Wednesday 26 May, 2021.

The nominated President will serve for a fixed term of 2 years, commencing on Wednesday 9 June 2021 – the day after the Founder’s Day holiday.

Good luck to all our nominees!

Duncan GrantDuncan Grant (1961)

I enjoyed a successful career in the RAF attaining the rank of Group Captain, responsible for recruitment and training, latterly as training principal. Post RAF, I ran a logistics, training and change management consultancy. As Chairman of a charity with ~3000 members, I enhanced the wellbeing of both veterans and younger service personnel, creating a Trust offering bursaries to 6th form STEM students. If appointed I would hope to build on this experience by developing a FP sponsored Bursary for Heriot’s STEM scholars. It would be my intention to build on my predecessor’s achievements, reinforcing our unique bond between current and former pupils.

George Ross MBEGeorge Ross MBE (1963)

I’m a proud Herioter. I returned to Edinburgh in 2007, retiring after 27 years in Newcastle as Director of The Newcastle Breweries Ltd.  I’m an enthusiastic choral and light opera singer and have fond memories of performing at the annual Usher Hall concert. I have held Chair and Trustee roles for a number of charities. My MBE is for my services to charity, supporting children’s and cerebral palsy causes. I hope to put my industry and charity experience to use for the benefit of the whole Heriot’s community, bringing plenty of enthusiasm (and a loud voice for speeches!).

Jac WhiteheadJac Whitehead (née Pentland) (1997)

My 1997 yearbook states “I appear to have enjoyed every minute” of my 13 years at Heriot’s. These happy memories resonate to this day and I wish to contribute back to Heriot’s in this role. Professionally, I contribute to the community as an Occupational Therapist. I asked my 5 year old Herioter to describe me. “You have grey hair*, care for me, you care about everybody”. I asked my family the same; “conscientious, creative, approachable, caring” are words they used. Given the opportunity I would use these attributes to represent the FP community to the best of my ability. *greying

Jonny Adams (1990)

I attended Heriot’s 1979-1990, finding a welcoming & friendly environment and immediately feeling at home. I enjoyed extracurricular activities including Duke of Edinburgh and CCF. After Heriot’s I spent a year at St Andrews University then took a year out working & travelling before studying Criminology & Psychology at Keele University. I have since worked in England and Scotland in a range of IT roles. I joined the Heriot Club in 2005, was a committee member and raised a lot of money for the school. I want to become President to give back to Heriot’s and help shape its future.

Keith Downie (1979)

I joined Heriots in P6 leaving after 8 years in 1979. I qualified as a Chartered Surveyor spending over 30 years in the construction industry, mostly with Historic Scotland, helping maintain buildings such as Edinburgh Castle. Since retiring, I have used my time to support others through volunteering. This is a fundamental ethos of Heriots – giving something back. I would build on and continue the work of the current President and tap further into the breadth of knowledge the FP community has, to seek out areas to provide a greater understanding of the opportunities that are available for Herioters.

Marc Brandon (2004)

I’m a Herioter and foundationer from the class of ’04, currently working as a Senior Cyber Security Analyst. Many in my year agree, we were born into interesting times. The advent of the internet, smartphones and social media has shown a clear before/after in how the world interacts. Yet on both sides of this shift, the FP community has always been active and welcoming to those who have come through the school. My intention if elected, is to continue merging this strong tradition with digital outreach to make sure all FPs know that they have a community here

Philippe F T Boissière (1969)

I attended Heriot’s between 1955-1969 and I’m a retired GP. The FP President should coordinate FP talent to Distribute Cheerfullie. All FPs have something to offer whether it be time, expertise or money. Teamwork, communication and presentation skills will be essential to foster good relationships with our partners and increase FP participation. My aim is to encourage FPs to participate through expanded technology and social media contact using the Development Office. Increasing awareness among all FPs and existing clubs is crucial to the Foundation 400 goal being attained in 2024. We can close the virtuous circle created when we became Herioters.

Ross McAuley (1995)

I was a pupil from 1989 to 1995, my sister is also an FP. The school and foundation provided a supportive and stable environment, especially after our father died whilst we were pupils. Heriots became the first choice for our own children, both my daughters and nephew are current pupils. Having lived and worked abroad at a senior level in different global organisations, it made me realise that the power of a strong community is not to be taken for granted. My focus will be on helping FP’s build new connections domestically and internationally. Supporting each other is in our nature and Distributing Chearfullie has rarely been more needed.


  • Voting Form

Please fill out www.george-heriots.com/being-a-herioter/keep-in-touch/ if you have recently moved home, changed your email address and/or have not been receiving any news from the Development Office including Quadrangle magazine.

If you have any problems with this form please call the Development Office 0131 221 6716

Data Protection Act

George Heriot’s Trust will retain and use the personal information supplied on this form and/or, in connection with your vote strictly in accordance with Data Protection Regulations. This information will be used for the purposes of processing and verifying the voting procedure for the role of Herioter President only. We will only retain this information for as long as is required for these purposes and will not share it out with the Development Office.

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