Douglas spent 27 years working in the Public Sector in Scotland. Much of his time was spent in The Scottish Office in Edinburgh where he worked in various policy areas including health, education and defence. His last posting in the civil service was as Head of the Arts Film and Broadcasting Policy branch, where he had direct responsibility for a £30 million budget. During his time in Arts and Broadcasting Douglas was involved in conducting a major policy review of support for the film industry in Scotland which led to the creation of Scottish Screen – the highly successful film agency. He was heavily involved in assisting Government Ministers in developing Scottish broadcasting policy issues relating to the content of the 1990 and 1996 Broadcasting Acts.
In 1996 he moved out of the public sector to become Deputy Director of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce based in Edinburgh. In 1999 he moved to Glasgow to become Deputy Chief Executive of Glasgow Chamber of commerce and in 2003 was appointed Chief Executive of the Lanarkshire Chamber of Commerce.
He has vast experience of working at non-executive level in a wide range of businesses. He became a Director of Scottish Television Regional Limited (the ITV contractor in central Scotland) in 1997 and served on that board for over 6 years. He was a Trustee of the Scottish Television Pension Fund and Caledonian Publishing Pension Fund – both £100 million+ funds. His knowledge of pensions also led him to assist the British Chambers of Commerce to establish their own pensions company – Chamber Pensions Limited. He chaired that business for over 4 years before helping British Chambers sell the business on to the Prudential. He has also had non-executive director experience of a city centre marketing company and is currently a director of the National Youth Orchestras of Scotland and Chairman of Accelerating Business Limited.
In his work with Chambers of Commerce, Douglas has vast experience of international trade issues and has led trade Missions to France, Greece and the Irish Republic.
Douglas is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts Manufacturers and Commerce and is a founding fellow of the Institute of Contemporary Scotland as well as a Member of the IoD and Scottish Council Development and Industry.