Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs Born in Ayrshire in 1964, in her early years Fiona Hyslop was brought up in England before returning to Scotland and graduating from Glasgow University with an MA (Hons) in Economic History and sociology. She completed a post graduate Diploma in Industrial Administration at the Scottish College of Textiles, before moving to Edinburgh to join the financial services company Standard Life where she held various positions in sales and marketing, latterly as Brand Development Manager. Fiona Hyslop was elected a Lothians MSP in 1999 and was a member of the Parliament's Education Committee. In 2007 she was appointed Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, and was responsible for re-establishing the principle of free higher education in Scotland by abolishing the graduate endowment fee. Appointed Minister for Culture and External Affairs in December 2009, Fiona Hyslop established the cultural development body, Creative Scotland, in July 2010, as part of the Public Services Reform Act. She also secured funding towards the Dundee V&A project, the new Bannockburn visitor centre, and the creation of the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Ayrshire. As part of the Scottish Government's programme of international development, Fiona Hyslop launched strategic plans for engaging with India and Pakistan in 2010. Following the Scottish Parliament Elections in May 2011, she was elected MSP for Linlithgow and was appointed Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs. Her Ministerial portfolio covers External Affairs, Europe, Culture and the Arts, Broadcasting, Architecture, Built Heritage, Lottery Funding, Historic Scotland, National Records of Scotland and Major Events Strategy. She is married with three children and lives in Linlithgow.