Scottish Parliament set to welcome America’s top state politicians to Edinburgh


An influential group of America’s top State politicians, representing 32 American States stretching from New Hampshire to Oregon, will hold a two day conference in the Scottish Parliament today (10 July).

This will be the first time that the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) has met outside of North America. The conference was secured by the Presiding Officer, the Rt Hon Tricia Marwick MSP, during a visit to the US earlier this year as part of Scotland Week.

Over 50 legislative leaders, including Speakers, Senate Presidents and House Leaders will attend the conference. Delegates will hear from a number of distinguished speakers on themes including the global economic outlook, the future of global energy supply and the art of legislative leadership.

Speaking ahead of the event, the Presiding Officer said:

“I am delighted that the Scottish Parliament will host this conference, which is yet another opportunity to showcase both our country and Parliament to an international audience.

“Holyrood is firmly established as an effective platform for debate both domestically and internationally. This conference will provide politicians on both sides of the Atlantic the opportunity to discuss issues of global significance such as the current economic climate. But it will also be an opportunity to share experiences, reflect on knowledge and to learn from each other’s legislatures.”

Representative Terie Norelli, President of the NCSL, and Speaker of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, said:

“We are delighted to come to Scotland, the first time we have met outside of North America. I am looking forward to what promises to be two days of insight, ideas and opinions.

“We hope to learn from the experiences and knowledge from politicians in Scotland and my colleagues and I are looking forward to participating in what promises to be some lively and thought provoking discussions.”


The opening ceremony will be held in the Debating Chamber of the Scottish Parliament and will be broadcast live between 10-10.30am on Wednesday 10 July.

The conference will take place within the Holyrood complex and speakers include:

  • Tom Devine, Senior Research Professor in History and Director of the Scottish Centre of Diaspora Studies
  • Charlie Jeffery, Professor of Politics and Director of the Academy of Government, University of Edinburgh
  • Michael Keating, Professor of Politics, University of Aberdeen
  • James Mitchell, Professor of Public Policy, University of Edinburgh
  • Barbara J. Stephenson, Chargé d'affaires a.i., U.S. Embassy to the United Kingdom
  • Humza Yousaf MSP, Minister for External Affairs and International Development, Scottish Government
  • Nigel Pain, Head of Economic Outlook unit, OECD
  • Mark Finley, General Manager, Global Energy Markets, BP
  • Anne McColl, Chief Executive, Scottish Development International
  • David Brooks, Director of Global Processes, IBM
  • Nosheena Mobarik OBE, Chair of CBI Scotland
  • Sadie Moore, Director of Training, Coro Southern California and Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Southern California.

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