Julie Hesketh-Laird Director of Operational & Technical Affairs and Deputy CEO

Julie Hesketh-Laird

Julie is the SWA's deputy chief executive, working across the interests of the Scotch Whisky industry on a range of the Association's lobbying work. 

She is based in Edinburgh covering SWA policy but her focus is pursuing a competitive and sustainable business environment for Scotch Whisky to flourish.  She leads to develop and deliver the SWA's strategy and business plan and to ensure the Association offers value for its members.

Julie joined the SWA in 2005 as director of operational and technical affairs. Julie and her team represent the industry on competitiveness and manufacturing issues, from raw materials to business skills, infrastructure to health and safety.  They champion industry and supply chain sustainability, develop and a development of and support the implementation of an award-winning industry environmental strategy.

Her earlier career was in business representation.  She was Scottish adviser for the Chemical Industries Association, building relationships in the Scottish Parliament and with other stakeholders.  Previously she worked in London for the CBI and in the newly-privatised water industry on a technical portfolio and industry customer-facing and policy campaigns.

To help build sustainability in the whole of the food and drink sector, she chairs the Scotland Food & Drink Sustainability Committee and to build alliances among the business community, sits on the CBI Scotland Trade Association Committee. She is a member of the Institute of Brewing and Distilling.

Julie has a degree in Biology and Geography from London University and a Masters in Water Management. She enjoys caving, open water swimming and time with her family.

Email: ops@swa.org.uk

Tel: 0131 222 9208