Catherine Stihler OBE has been an international champion for openness as a
legislator and practitioner for over 20 years. She stood for election as a Member of the European Parliament for Scotland in
1999, representing the Labour Party. At the European Parliament she became
one of Scotland’s longest-serving and most respected legislators.
Catherine was elected Vice-Chair of the European Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee, founded the Campaign for Parliamentary Reform and the parliament’s All-Party Library Group, and was instrumental in securing graphic health warnings on cigarette packets across the EU. In 2019, Catherine was awarded an OBE by Her Majesty the Queen in recognition of her services to politics. That same year, she stood down from the European Parliament to become the chief executive officer of the Open Knowledge Foundation. During her 18-month tenure at the Foundation Catherine redefined its vision and mission to produce a new strategic direction, reengage its global chapters and increase the worldwide profile of the organisation. In August 2020, Catherine was appointed chief executive officer of Creative Commons, a non-profit organisation that helps overcome legal obstacles to the sharing of knowledge and creativity to address the world’s pressing challenges. She was selected to the Fellowship of Scotland’s national academy, the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) in 2022.