Government post

Holyrood hires IoD boss to head up economy strategy

Louise Macdonald: privilege

Louise Macdonald, head of the Institute of Directors Scotland, is taking up a new role spearheading the delivery of the government’s National Strategy for Economic Transformation.

Ms Macdonald will take on the fixed term role as interim director-general economy for 11 months from 2 May, replacing Elinor Mitchell who is taking time away for personal health reasons.

Permanent Secretary JP Marks said: “I am delighted to welcome Louise Macdonald to my Executive Team and to the Scottish Government.  Louise has an impressive commitment to growth, reform and inclusion and is a champion for transformation in Scotland’s economy. 

“We want to build deep partnerships across private, voluntary and public sectors and Louise brings new leadership and creative energy at this important time for Scotland as we strive to build coalitions and embed recovery, whilst grappling with complex global challenges.  

“Louise’s leadership skills, commitment to good governance and partnership working, matched with her diverse background and ambition for Scotland will be fresh, engaging and valuable to our teams in this important next phase for Scotland’s economy. 

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“I am grateful to the IoD and to the Civil Service Commission for their support.  We will repeat last year’s substantive open competition later in the year and meantime press ahead with Louise leading this important work to transform our economy.”

Ms Macdonald, who joined the IoD as Malcolm Cannon’s successor last June, said:  “It has been a privilege to work with the fantastic IoD Scotland members, as well as the IoD team, with so much insight shared and learning I’ll take with me into this post with the Scottish Government.

“The success of the National Strategy for Economic Transformation is something which matters to every business, every cross-sector organisation and every community across Scotland and I am looking forward to playing my part in that.”

Recruitment for the DG Economy role will be taken forward later in the year with a successful permanent candidate announced in due course. 

Both internal and external markets were tested for this role late last year. This replacement interim appointment provides additional leadership to drive delivery of economic transformation in the critical period ahead and was approved by the Civil Service Commission. 

Before joining the IoD, Ms Macdonald was chief executive of Young Scot, the youth information and citizenship charity and was also the independent co-chair of the First Minister’s Advisory Council on Women and Girls.

She was a board member of the Scottish Parliament think tank Scotland’s Futures Forum, a trustee of the 5Rights Foundation and is an immediate past president of the European Youth Card Association.

There are eight Directors-General who head up the Scottish civil service. A Director-General manages directorates and agencies which are responsible for proposing legislation and putting Scottish Government policy into practice.

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