Emma MacLennan retired as Director of the John Smith Memorial Trust at the end of 2007 after seven years in the post to establish her consultancy MacLennan Ward Research Ltd. She also provides research advice to the All Party Parliamentary Group on EU Enlargement.
Emma was Deputy Director of the Low Pay Unit from 1980 before joining the Labour Party as Policy Officer on Social Security and Taxation, working closely with John Smith during his time as Labour Party Leader.
She was also a member of the independent Commission on Social Justice established by John Smith in 1992. The Commission was asked to conduct a comprehensive review of economic and social policy in the UK with the aim of stimulating new thinking and producing workable proposals for policy reform. Its final report, Social Justice: Strategies for National Renewal, was published in 1994.
From 1992-95 Emma was Policy Advisor to Rt. Hon. Donald Dewar QC, MP and to Rt. Hon. Chris Smith MP in 1995-96. From 1996-2000 she was a freelance policy researcher, producing two reports for the Trades Union Congress (TUC) on employment rights for part-time workers and on reform of the system of National Insurance Contributions.
She has been a Guest Scientist at the International Institute of Management in Berlin, and Chair of the Management Committee of Central London Community Law Centre.