Latest network recruit
SBN hires foreign service advocate as latest US ambassador
Ian Houston: ‘a pleasure and privilege’
US foreign service veteran Ian Houston is the latest ambassador to be appointed by the Scottish Business Network (SBN) to help build transatlantic connections.
Mr Houston will represent the network in Washington DC and joins other ambassadors, ex-patriate Sandy Donaldson in Atlanta and Fraser Grier, a lawyer with Abrams & Abrams in New York.
SBN, a not-for-profit international membership organisation for Scottish entrepreneurs and business leaders, says it will be signing up more high profile figures in the US.
Mr Houston has been at the centre of advocating for diplomacy in the US Foreign Service as the former executive director and legislative director of the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) for 11 years.
AFSA represents more than 16,000 US professional diplomats both active-duty and retired.
He has also worked in the US Congress and with international development and relief organisations for many years.
His father and generations of his family hail from Glasgow and in this new role his focus will be on assisting Scottish companies identify opportunities in the US and raise the profile of SBN in Washington.
Ivan McKee, Minister for Trade and Investment, said: “Ian has worked closely with the Scottish Government’s Washington DC office for many years and I welcome this appointment.
“The US is our top export destination and our trade and investment links there are important for Scotland’s economy.
“We are actively thinking about the preparations for when current restrictions can safely be eased and getting Scotland open for business once again, when the time is right.”
The US will become an ever more important market for Scottish companies– Russell Dalgleish, SBN
SBN chairman Russell Dalgleish stated: “Over the next few years we believe that the US will become an ever more important market for Scottish companies as we build new trading relations post Coronavirus.
“Having a representative of Ian’s abilities in Washington will be of enormous value to all Scottish companies and we are honoured that he has agreed to join us.”
Speaking of his appointment, Mr Houston said: “It is a pleasure and privilege to assume this role in Washington and work with Russell, the SBN team and membership, the Scottish Office in Washington, SDI, and so many other stakeholders.
“I am passionate about placing a spotlight on Scottish commerce and innovation, and forging partnerships between Scottish and U.S. companies and organisations across multiple sectors. SBN will play a vital role for positive trade growth.”
Over the coming months SBN plan to announce the appointment of more support for Scottish businesses across the world.