Committee Bio’s

Chieftain – James McLeary

Chieftain from 2018. Originally from Coatbridge, Scotland. James has lived in Inverness, Stirling, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Overseas posts have included Spain, Australia, Hong Kong, Luxembourg and Thailand. Profession is a Cyber Security managing director at a global practice. Has 3 daughters, married to Sarisa and is keen on fitness, health and ancestry study. James is also a GlobalScot Ambassador for The Scottish Government.

treasurer – karen anne burr


After teaching for a very long time in Aberdeenshire I came to Thailand in 2001 and have worked in International Schools in Bangkok. I joined the St Andrews Society 10 years later and the committee very soon after. I attended monthly Scottish dancing evenings and struggled to learn the dances. But when the previous organizer left, I took over the running of the group, assisted by others who know the steps without consulting notes. I hope that we will be able to get our dancing shoes on again soon. I also enjoy travelling, reading and films. In my early years here I fostered dogs and cats, but some became permanent residents and now rule the house. 

Honorary Secretary – Kirsty Hastie Smith

My name is Kirsty Hastie Smith and I have been in Bangkok for 16 years and on the Bangkok St Andrew’s committee for 12 years.  I am from Pitlochry but was schooled at The Mary Erskine School in Edinburgh.  I was an army child so had the great fortune of being brought up in some amazing countries, which is where I got the travel bug from.  As soon as I arrived in Bangkok I offered my services to The Bangkok Thistle Pipe Band, which is now The British Club Pipe Band, and brought my highland dancing skills along with me too.  I thoroughly loved having the great honour of being Chieftain of the society throughout 2010-11.

Committee – JoHN MACTAGGART

John has been living in Thailand for the past 20 years and is married with two children. John trained in the NHS as a clinical technician at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol, becoming senior clinical technician, in Anesthesia, Intensive Care and Renal Transplantation at Southmead Hospital, Bristol.
After leaving the NHS he worked as a clinical support manager for some of the larger medical companies in the UK, Holland and the USA. John currently works for Cardioline SPA an Italian supplier of non-invasive IT diagnostic cardiology as Regional Director of Asia Pacific. He is one of the co-founders of Little Birds Foundation. A program that supports orphaned teenagers and young adults living with HIV/AIDS in Bangkok

COMMITTEE – ARTHUR MCNEILL

Arthur is a Scottish academic who studies modern languages at Glasgow University and taught at the Universities of Edinburgh and Dundee. He spent over 20 years in Hong Kong, most recently as the Associate Dean of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He has also held positions in Berlin, Moscow and Doha. He was a founding member of the Hong Kong Highlanders Association. A keen Scottish country dancer, he holds a RSCDS Teaching Certificate and counts among his distinguished former students the last Governor of Hong Kong, Chris Patten. Now semi-retired, he has been living in Thailand since 2018 and improving his sailing and windsurfing skills.

committee – douglas riach

committee – david j morton

committee – david cumming

committee – jim hood