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Office Bearers

The Council is the governing body of The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, and represents the professional interests of the College's membership. Decisions made by Council formulate policy and direct the College in its mission to promote the highest standards of surgical practice. As a charitable organisation, the Members of Council are also Trustees of the College. Council comprises five Office-Bearers, 15 elected members, one Trainee member and the Dean of the Faculty of Dental Surgery. The Chief Executive is in attendance at Council meetings. The Council meets approximately seven times per year. 

The President, two Vice-Presidents, the Honorary Secretary and the Honorary Treasurer are the Office-Bearers. The President and Vice-Presidents are elected by Council and have a three-year term of office. The Honorary Secretary and Honorary Treasurer are appointed by Council from within the Fellowship of the College. Their term of office is normally three years, but extendable to five years. The Council Office-Bearers, together with the Dean of the Faculty of Dental Surgery and the Chief Executive meet on a regular basis to conduct Council-related business. 

  • President

    Professor Michael Griffin OBE

    Professor Michael Griffin OBE became President in 2018 when he was a Consultant Oesophagogastric surgeon at the Royal Victoria Infirmary. He developed the Northern Oesophagogastric Cancer Unit which is now the largest in Europe and North America. A Council Member since 2009, he was Chair of the Joint Committee for Intercollegiate Examinations (JCIE) and Professor of Gastrointestinal Surgery at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. His clinical and research interests have been focused on early diagnosis and radical treatment of oesophagogastric cancers. He was awarded an OBE for services to cancer health care in 2013.


  • Vice-President

    Professor Rowan Parks

    Professor Rowan Parks is a Consultant HPB Surgeon and Professor of Surgical Sciences at the University of Edinburgh. Serving on the Council since 2009, he has been on numerous College committees and short life working groups. He organised the RCSEd Triennial Meeting in 2018, the annual President's Meetings held from 2013-2015, and the Lister Centenary Meeting in 2012. He has a significant interest in medical education and training and is currently Deputy Medical Director of NHS Education for Scotland (NES). Professor Parks is immediate past-President of the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland (ASGBI) and the Great Britain and Ireland Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association (GBIHPBA).


  • Vice-President

    Mr Pala Rajesh

    Mr Pala Rajesh is a Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon at the Birmingham Heartlands Hospital. His interests are in minimally invasive thoracic surgery, surgical training and education. He set up the Video Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery service in the Regional Department of Thoracic Surgery which is now a renowned centre for training in the UK. He is the lead examiner of the Joint Surgical Fellowship examinations in cardiothoracic surgery in Asia. He’s been on Council 2012-17 and served on several committees. He is a Member of Council in the European Association of Cardiothoracic Surgery.


  • Honorary Treasurer

    Mr Alastair Gibson

    Mr Alastair Gibson is a Consultant Spinal Surgeon practising in Edinburgh, elected to Council in 2012. A College examiner for eight years, he has diverse interests in Clinical Research and Training with specialist expertise in minimally invasive surgery.


  • Honorary Secretary

    Ms Clare McNaught

    Ms Clare McNaught is a Consultant General and Colorectal Surgeon. She was elected to Council in 2014 and was Regional Advisor for Yorkshire for three years. Clare is a College examiner, is on a number of College committees and was Chair of the Younger Fellows' Committee. She is also the past Editor of Surgeons' News.


  • Immediate Past President

    Professor Michael Lavelle-Jones

    Professor Michael Lavelle-Jones was President of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh from 2015-2018. He is a Consultant General Surgeon with an interest in colorectal and paediatric surgery at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee. He previously held the positions of Honorary Secretary and Vice-President.


  • Dean of the Faculty of Dental Surgery

    Professor Philip Taylor

    Professor Philip Taylor is Emeritus Professor of Prosthodontics at QMUL where he was an Honorary Consultant in Restorative Dentistry and former Clinical Director at Barts Health NHS Trust. He was a specialist in Restorative Dentistry and Prosthodontics. Philip qualified in 1981 from Newcastle Dental School and spent 12 years in NHS general practice in the North East of England where he gained his MGDS. In 1993 he moved to London to begin his specialty training gaining his MSc at the Eastman alongside the MRD and FDS examinations. After spending seven years in a combination of private referral practice in the West End of London and as lecturer at QMUL he was promoted to consultant level in 2003 and Professor in 2016. He has been president of the British Society of Prosthodontics and the British Association of Teachers in Conservative Dentistry along with several examinerships and roles on national committees.


The term of office for the current President and Vice-Presidents is November 2018 to November 2021.


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