By profession, Sandy is a governance adviser, and a former executive in UN and Commonwealth organisations and international development charities. She is also a Board member of the Gaelic College Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, and a former Board member of Bòrd na Gàidhlig, the Gaelic Board. She speaks several other languages, including French, German and Spanish, and is currently learning Welsh. She studied at Oxford and Harvard Universities, and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL), as a literary translator and language coach. Sandy has a home in the Isle of South Uist.