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New Chief Executive at Scotch Whisky Association

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New Chief Executive at Scotch Whisky Association

New Chief Executive at Scotch Whisky Association
March 03
10:11 2017

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has appointed a new chief executive. Karen Betts (pictured) joins the SWA after a 16 year career in the Foreign& Commonwealth Office (FCO), most recently as British Ambassador to Morocco. She becomes only the eighth head, and the first female chief executive, of the SWA in its 105 year history.

During a successful diplomatic career at the FCO, Karen Betts held a variety of posts in London and overseas. These included Counsellor to the British Embassy in Washington, and roles at the UK’s Permanent Representation to the EU in Brussels and the British Embassy in Baghdad. She has also served in the Cabinet Office and the Joint Intelligence Committee. Prior to joining the FCO, she worked as a lawyer for Clifford Chance in London and Hong Kong. She studied law at the College of Law in Guildford and history at St. Andrews University.

Karen Betts says: “It’s an exciting and challenging time for the Scotch Whisky industry, and I am looking forward immensely to helping ensure its success into the future.  I am also delighted to be moving back to Edinburgh with my family.”

Karen Betts takes over as chief executive from David Frost, who stepped down from the role in November 2016 having joined the Association in early 2014.

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