The Scottish Parliament’s Presiding Officer, the Rt Hon Tricia Marwick MSP, will lead a delegation of MSPs in a series of engagements during Scotland Week 2015 from today.
The delegation will meet with senior elected representatives, key organisations and take part in events and celebrations in the influential US cities of New York and Chicago.
The Presiding Officer will be the Honorary Grand Marshal of the 17th Tartan Day Parade, on New York’s iconic 6th Avenue, alongside the Parade’s Grand Marshal Graham McTavish, from the hit TV series Outlander.
She will also deliver keynote speeches at both New York University and the University of Chicago, reflecting on Scotland’s rich history of democratic engagement and the challenges presented by Scottish Independence Referendum last year.
The Presiding Officer said:
“Scotland and the United States share many common links: cultural, economic and historical. Scotland Week is a celebration of these close bonds and I am delighted to be heading the Scottish Parliament’s delegation to New York and Chicago.”
She is joined by fellow MSPs, Mary Fee, Christina McKelvie and Mary Scanlon, who are each undertaking engagements central to their current work on parliamentary committees at Holyrood.
All of the delegation will undertake the following engagements:
- Meeting with UN Women.
- Various Tartan Day events in New York.
- Meeting with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel with Chicago Council.
Other engagements to be undertaken by the Presiding Officer include:
- Visit and engagements at New York University.
- Meeting with Chicago Scots representatives.
- Meeting with the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board.
- Visit and engagements at the University of Chicago.
Meetings to be undertaken by Mary Fee MSP (member of the Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee) include:
- Metropolitan Transportation Authority (New York).
- New York City Department of Transportation.
- Chicago Transit Authority.
- Meeting on digital infrastructure and broadband with Chicago City Council.
Meetings to be undertaken by Mary Scanlon MSP (member of the Education and Culture Committee) include:
- Chair of the Chicago Council Committee on Education and Child Development.
- New York State Office of Mental Health.
- Chair of the Committee on Health and Environmental Protection, Chicago Council.
- Educational attainment with Chicago Council.
Meetings to be undertaken by Christina McKelvie MSP (Convener of the European and External Relations Committee) include:
- Deputy Head of the Delegation of Catalonia in the US.
- Deputy General Representative of the Government of Flanders to the US.
- Chicago Council on Foreign Affairs.
- Scottish Development International, Chicago.
- Vice President for Global Engagement at the University of Chicago.
Since 1998, Tartan Day has been recognised by the U.S. House of Representatives as an official celebration of the contribution of American-Scots to U.S. culture and life. Over the past 10 years Scotland-focused activity around Tartan Day has grown into a week-long programme to promote Scotland in North America and is now called Scotland Week.
Scotland Week 2015 is a week long programme of events in America, aiming to promote all things Scottish. Fifty million people across the world claim Scottish heritage - the majority being in America and Canada.