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SWA Leadership Team

Mark Kent, SWA Chief Executive

Mark Kent, Chief Executive

Mark Kent joined the SWA as Chief Executive in January 2022. 

Prior to joining the SWA, Mark was British Ambassador to the Argentine Republic from July 2016 to June 2021. He was previously Ambassador to the Kingdom of Thailand (2012-2016) and Ambassador to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (2007-2010).

He has served in the British Embassies in Mexico City and Brasilia as well as the UK Representation to the European Union, and Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE). He graduated in Law from the University of Oxford and gained a Masters degree in European Law and Economics from the Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium.

He has a postgraduate qualification in Business Administration from the Open University and has language qualifications in Spanish, Portuguese, French, Dutch, Vietnamese and Thai.


John Bartholomew, Director - Corporate Services

John Bartholomew, Director of Corporate Services

John Bartholomew has worked for the SWA since 1993.  He became Director of Finance and Company Secretary in 2004 and since January 2017 has been Director of Corporate Affairs.

He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland and the Institute of Chartered Secretaries.

His responsibilities coverall financial matters, HR and payroll, pension and other benefits, Edinburgh office management and the Company Secretarial duties.

Graeme Littlejohn, Deputy Director of Strategy & Communication

Graeme Littlejohn, Director of Strategy & Communication

Graeme Littlejohn joined the SWA in 2015 and was appointed Director in March 2019.  

Prior to joining the SWA, he served as Head of Office to the Chief Secretary of the Treasury at HM Treasury and has previously held posts in the Scottish Parliament, European Parliament and Westminster.

Graeme has a Masters in International Relations from the University of St Andrews and spent 2013 working in rural Uganda on development projects as a Trustee of an education charity.

Ian McKendrick, International Director

Ian McKendrick, International Director

Ian McKendrick joined the SWA in 2019 as International Director, leading the team which focuses on the growth of Scotch Whisky’s global exports and on improving market access for member companies.

Having spent over 20 years working in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Ian has held a variety of positions in London and overseas, including roles at the British Embassy in Beijing, British Consulate General in Hong Kong and a number of short-term assignments at British Embassies around the world. He has also spent four years on secondment to the European Commission and two years as Managing Director of the British Chamber of Commerce in China. Prior to his role at the British Embassy in Beijing, Ian spent two years on full time Mandarin language training.

Alan Park, Director - Legal

Alan Park, Director of Legal Affairs

Alan Park leads the legal team in its objective to protect the Scotch Whisky geographical indication across the world. A former partner in a Glasgow law firm, Alan joined the SWA as legal counsel in 2003 and became Director of Legal Affairs in 2016

Ruth Piggin, Director of Industry Sustainability

Ruth Piggin, Director of Industry Sustainability

Ruth Piggin joined the SWA team in November 2021 as Industry Sustainability Director.

Prior to joining the SWA Ruth has worked in different regulatory and public affairs roles including agriculture, water and public health. Ruth’s experience has been gained through a career within both national trade associations and a multinational corporation.

Ruth has a Masters in Biotechnology, Law and Ethics from the University of Sheffield.

Tom Sallis, Deputy Director - EU and Brexit

Tom Sallis, Director of Global Partnerships

Tom Sallis joined the SWA in 2015 and was appointed Director of Global Partnerships in 2020. In this role, Tom works on regulatory matters with UK and EU policy makers, covering topics such as spirits legislation, labelling requirements and alcohol policy. Based in the International Team, Tom is also part of our efforts to push for better global trading conditions. Previously at the SWA, Tom has helped prepare the industry for Brexit, coordinated our advocacy on the EU spirit drinks regulation, and supported our work on COVID-19 response and US tariffs.

Prior to joining the SWA, Tom worked for the CBI in Brussels, specialising on free trade agreements, single market policy and employment law. Tom holds a BSc in Economics and International Development from Bath and an MSc in Political Economy from the LSE. He is a Board member of spiritsEUROPE and an ECB qualified cricket coach.

Martin Bell, Deputy Director of International

Martin Bell, Deputy Director of Trade

Martin Bell joined the SWA in 2004 and has specialised in external trade policy throughout, with a particular geographic focus on the Asia-Pacific region.  He leads the SWA's engagement with the World Trade Organisation and has extensive experience of its standing mechanisms, up to and including dispute settlement  He has chaired the External Trade Committee of spiritsEUROPE for 10 years and sits on a wide range of broader industry trade policy groupings, including the ICC UK's Trade and Investment Committee and the Law Society of Scotland's Trade Policy Working Group. He sits on the Board of the World Spirits Alliance.

After starting working life as a solicitor in private practice, and a subsequent spell with the European Commission's DG Environment in Brussels, he joined the Scottish Office in 1997.  He worked there for seven years in a range of fields, latterly on a three year secondment to the Policy Unit of the Scottish Council for Development and Industry.

Martin holds an LLB Honours Degree in Scots Law from the University of Edinburgh and an LLM in European and International Trade Law from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.  He has also tutored European Law at the University of Edinburgh, and regularly speaks on trade policy.

Peter Clark, Deputy Director of Industry

Peter Clark, Deputy Director of Industry

Peter Clark joined the SWA in 2001 after spending seven years as a secondary school teacher.  He leads the SWA's work on energy policy, HM Revenue and Customs compliance and infrastructure.  

He joined the SWA's leadership team in 2018 taking up the role of Deputy Director in the Industry team. He is also a Director of the Spirits Energy Efficiency Company which manages the UK spirit drink sectors' Climate Change Agreement scheme.

Peter enjoys canoeing, walking, skiing and following the fortunes of Macclesfield FC.

Fraser Grieve, Deputy Director of Strategy and Communications

Fraser Grieve, Deputy Director of Strategy and Communications

Fraser Grieve joined the SWA’s London based team in 2020 having previously served as Regional Director and Head of Communications for the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI). During his time with SCDI, Fraser sat on the Inverness & Highland City-Region Deal Programme Board, the Moray Growth Deal Board, the Highlands & Islands Regional Skills Investment Board, and was an adviser to the regional transport partnership Hitrans. He also oversaw the completion of The Rural Commission report in 2019 ‘An Economy for All of Scotland’, and led on policy around the economy in rural areas, transport, tourism, energy, and food and drink.

Before moving to SCDI, Fraser spent the previous decade working in politics where he initially managed conferences and corporate communications, before becoming Head of Office to former MP and Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Sir Danny Alexander.

Fraser is Chair of SSE’s Beatrice Partnership Panel and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.


Lindesay Low, Deputy Director of Legal Affairs

Lindesay Low, Deputy Director of Legal Affairs

Lindesay Low joined the SWA in 2001 and became Deputy Director of Legal Affairs in 2018.  He assists Alan in leading the Legal team and has particular responsibility for its work in Asia-Pacific and the Americas.

He is a Scottish qualified solicitor and accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as a Specialist in Intellectual Property Law.  He is Vice-Chair of the International Trademark Association’s Geographical Indications Committee.