Shirley Otto


Shirley is an independent specialist in third sector organisations in Scotland, in particular their governance and management. Committed to independents delivering high quality consultancy to clients and to supporting other sole traders Shirley has been a Convenor since the birth of MDN and leads on promoting and organising events in Scotland.

Shirley provides training, both in-house and external, on management and governance topics, facilitation of team development and strategic planning sessions and she is also an action learning set facilitator.


In the last 30 years Shirley has worked with a wide range of organisations in the third sector including service providers, self-help groups, community arts projects, collectives, housing associations and NGOs. Shirley has a particular interest in cross-border governance, the dynamics of Trustee Boards and the impact of values on the functioning of organisations (in particular feminist values).


Shirley has a doctorate in organisational psychology from the University of London based on the study of the roles of chairs of boards and senior staff across the three sectors. She is also the author of a number of academic publications on governance and management.


2008-2019 Leader, Masterclasses for ACOSVO on governance and management in third sector organisations.

2018 Member of the Scottish Governance Code for the Third Sector Workgroup

‘Book at Bedtime’ Soap opera instalments for Governance Magazine (2010).