New chief executive appointed
02 Mar 2017
The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) - which represents the iconic
industry globally - has appointed a new chief executive.
Karen Betts 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
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 said: "I am thrilled to have been appointed as CEO of
the Scotch Whisky Association to represent one of Scotland's most
important industries, at home and overseas. 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."
Welcoming the appointment, the SWA chairman, Pierre Pringuet,
said: "We are delighted that Karen will be joining us and bringing
fresh leadership to a talented SWA team as it continues to
represent its members' interests effectively around the
world. Her wide international experience will be particularly
valuable as we work with government to grow the Scotch Whisky
industry globally and make a success of the UK's exit from the
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.
Notes to Editors
Karen Betts will join the SWA from 19 May 2017.
Please contact Rosemary Gallagher, SWA Head of Communications
(0131 222 9230 or email firstname.lastname@example.org) or David Williamson,
SWA Director of Public Affairs & Communications (0131 222 9226