Fiona started out in public service quite by accident. After graduating from Glasgow University with an MA, she considered a career in arts management before a successful job interview drew her to local government.
Her first permanent job was in public sector housing management and she quickly rose to a management position while studying for a post-graduate diploma in housing studies. After project managing the implementation of new housing benefit legislation, Fiona went on to become one of Scotland's foremost experts in this field.
As a benefits adviser to the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (CoSLA), she represented local authority benefits practitioners on various central government working groups for a number of years. She has contributed to several research projects undertaken by the Social Policy & Research Unit of York University, and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
Before leaving the public sector, Fiona undertook a 2-year secondment to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in London. Within the Housing Benefit Strategy Division, she gained invaluable experience in diverse areas such as project management, e-learning and performance management. Her experience of managing local service delivery helped her bridge the gap between local authorities' practices and central government strategy, and provided much insight to DWP when examining the impact of new policies.
Recently, Fiona has pursued various musical hobbies, and launched her business as a wedding music consultant.