Shona McCarthy

CEO, Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society

Breakout session: Scotland The Perfect Stage - Strategy Deep Dive

Shona McCarthy joined the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society as Chief Executive 8 years ago. Shona has championed the Edinburgh Fringe as the world’s leading performing arts festival and expo, founded on the principles of open access and freedom of expression. 

From 2011-2014 she was Chief Executive of the Culture Company, leading on Derry - Londonderry’s transformational year as UK City of Culture. Prior to that she was Director of the British Council Northern Ireland.  She headed up Imagine Belfast to deliver Belfast’s bid to be European Capital of Culture. She also spent many years as Chief Executive of Cinemagic Film Festival for young people, Belfast; and the Foyle Film Festival, Derry; and was Head of Exhibition at the Northern Ireland Film Council. 

Shona has over 30 years' experience working in senior leadership positions and was awarded a prestigious Eisenhower Fellowship for Innovation in 2014, making her part of a global network of leaders and influencers, and a NESTA cultural leadership award which took her to work with the Seagull Foundation for the Arts in Calcutta India in 2007. She is an Honorary Fellow of Surrey University. A visiting Professor at Napier University and an Honorary Fellow of the Marketing Society of Scotland.  



Photography credits: © Chris Watt Photography

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