Edel Harris joined Mencap, the UK’s largest charity working with and for people with a learning disabilty, as CEO in January 2020, having been Chief Executive of Cornerstone, one of Scotland’s largest charities since May 2008. A former Metropolitan Police Officer Edel’s background is in health promotion, holding a 1st class honours degree (with distinction) in Health and Social Care. She spent 8 years working for NHS Grampian and has significant experience in setting up and leading successful social enterprises and in developing new social care services.
Edel was until very recently a Director of the Aberdeen Football Club Community Trust and a Director of Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI). She currently sits on the Board of the Robertson Trust.
Edel served as the first female President of Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce. She was also one of the first Directors of Opportunity North East (ONE), former Chair of The Life Changes Trust and former Chair of the Scottish Government’s Social Investment Fund.
Amongst Edel’s many achievements she was awarded the 2015 IOD North East Director of the Year accolade and in 2017 became the Scottish EY Entrepreneur of the Year. On International Women’s Day 2018 Edel was awarded an honorary doctorate from Robert Gordon University for her contribution to charity and business in Scotland and in October 2019 was awarded a Fellowship from North East College in Aberdeen.