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25 November 2011

SEPA appointments

The Minister for Environment and Climate Change today announced the appointment of a Deputy Chair and four Board Members to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). The appointments will be for a period of four years from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2015.

Deputy Chair - Bob Downes

Bob has been a member of SEPA's Board since 2008, and has chaired the Agency's Audit Committee. He brings a wealth of experience of executive and non-executive from across the public, private, and voluntary sectors to the role. He also has extensive experience of strategic analysis, operational excellence, communication management, digital technology application and transformation and change management.In addition to his new role as SEPA's Deputy Chair, Bob is also currently a non-executive director of the Care Visions Group, a UK wide private social and health care service business, a Governor at the Glasgow School of Art and an Advisory Board member for both ScotRail and the Glasgow University Business School. He has also helped with local economic ventures, especially in Northern Ireland, and has provided advice to small technology businesses throughout the UK. Previous roles have included a directorship with BT Group, a role which ended in September 2011.Mr Downes holds a public appointment as Governor and Non Executive Director at Glasgow School of Art. This is a non-remunerated appointment.

Board Members

Dr Lesley Sawers

Lesley brings considerable experience from both the public and private sector. She has held a number of senior positions in international utilities, strategic consultancy, logistics and VisitScotland, Scotland's national marketing and tourism agency. In her current role, as Chief Executive of the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI), Scotland's leading independent economic policy organisation she works closely with members, stakeholders and decision makers to promote economic growth for Scotland and to maximise the effective use of Scotland's environmental resources and natural assets. Through her role in SCDI, Lesley brings to the SEPA Board significant knowledge and experience of regulated industry, local authorities, non governmental organisations (NGOs) and the voluntary sector. She also has knowledge and experience in relation to promoting and developing science and engineering contributions to the Scottish economy. Lesley holds no other public appointments.

Dr Richard Dixon

After a PhD in Astrophysics, Richard completed an energy and environment MSc at Glasgow Caledonian University. After working for Community Service Volunteers (CSV) and Strathclyde Regional Council, he was appointed Head of Research at Friends of the Earth Scotland in 1994. After eight years working on issues as diverse as climate change, bathing beaches and fish farming, he moved to become Head of Policy with WWF Scotland in 2002. In this role Richard led a six-strong policy team working on marine, freshwater, climate, education and resource consumption issues. Richard took over as Director of WWF Scotland in July 2005 and continues to work on energy and climate change issues. Richard has been particularly involved in the setting up of the Stop Climate Chaos Scotland coalition, which pressed for Scotland's strong climate targets and aims to help deliver them., Richard brings to the SEPA Board extensive knowledge and experience of regulated industry, local authorities, NGOs and the voluntary sector, as well as knowledge of marine, freshwater, and climate change issues. Richard holds no other public appointments.

Professor Bill McKelvey

Professor Bill McKelvey has been Chief Executive and Principal of the Scottish Agricultural College (SAC) for the past 10 years. He brings to the SEPA Board significant knowledge and skills in agriculture, land use and rural affairs. His contributions to these sectors were recognised in the 2011 Queen's Birthday Honours List when he was awarded an OBE. As part of his role at SAC he has led one of the Scottish Government's Main Research Providers, managing an £18m research programme which includes work on environmental improvement and climate change skills which will prove useful in helping direct SEPA's own research programme. His academic credentials were recognised by his recent election to the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Scotland's National Academy of Science. Bill holds no other public appointments.

Dr Keith Nicholson

Keith's background is an unusual blend of internationally-recognised scientist and an award-winning company director. As a chemistry professor working on environmental and energy systems he has worked in universities in Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Denmark and Scotland until he decided to move full time into consultancy. As CEO, Keith founded and managed several firms including EnviroSurveys (NZ) and The TP Group, and has held directorships in a range of environmental and technical consultancies. He has acted as a scientific advisor to past governments in Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and, through the Royal Society for Chemistry, UK MPs, specialising in environmental forensics and impact analysis. Keith Nicholson holds a public appointment as a board member for Scottish Natural Heritage. Remuneration amount for this post is £8,000 per annum.

The Deputy Chair post is part-time and attracts a remuneration of 270.90 pounds a day for a time commitment of 3 days per month. Board member posts are part-time and attract a remuneration of 270.90 pounds a day for a time commitment of 2 days per month.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency is a Non-Departmental Public Body with a Board appointed by, and accountable to Scottish Ministers. SEPA was established by the Environment Act 1995 and became operational on April 1, 1996. The Environment Act 1995 also sets out SEPA's powers and responsibilities.

This Ministerial public appointment was made in accordance with the code of practice published by the Public Appointments Commissioner for Scotland.All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees' political activity within the last 5 years (if there is any to be declared) to be made public. None of the appointees have undertaken any political activity within the last 5 years.

Stewart Stevenson
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