Des is a sociologist and public policy specialist with 20 years experience in the higher education sector. He has extensive experience of working with policy makers, having served at senior levels in local government, as a health board member, as a committee Chair within the Scottish Parliament and as a Minister. He has recently been undertaking research on education policy with colleagues from the School of Education and on media coverage of human rights with colleagues in Sociology.
Des joined the University in September 2012 and his role is to develop links with research users, including policy makers, practitioners and organisations working on public policy issues and academics within the school and other colleagues in the College of Social Sciences and other Colleges in the University, increase awareness and uptake of research by policy makers and support the professional development of staff undertaking policy related research.
McNulty studied at St Bede's College, Manchester and graduated from the University of York in social sciences in 1974. Before entering the Scottish Parliament, he worked at Glasgow Caledonian University as a sociologist, later becoming head of strategic planning.