SEPA hires Paterson as next chief executive

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has appointed Nicole Paterson as its chief executive, replacing Terry A’Hearn who stepped down in January.

Ms Paterson, pictured, who joins the agency in October, has 30 years experience in local government and consultancy roles.

She joins from North Lanarkshire Council, Scotland’s fourth largest local authority, where she has held the role of head of environmental assets.

Ms Paterson spent more than a decade at Stirling Council leading environmental and infrastructure programmes and has worked across West Lothian, East Dunbartonshire and Argyll & Bute Councils. 

She is a board Member of Climate Ready Clyde, working with industry and government, and chair of the Glasgow City Region Transport Portfolio leading strategic transport visioning.  A chartered civil engineer and University of Strathclyde graduate, she is a member of 7 Lochs Wetland Park and previously the Inner Forth Landscape Initiative.

Announcing the appointment, Bob Downes, SEPA chair, said: “We’ve found in Nicole an open, supportive and motivational leader committed to collaboration, outcomes, excellence and building an agency reflective of the country we serve.”

Commenting on her appointment, Ms Paterson added: “Protecting our environment, inclusion, wellbeing and supporting sustainable growth are not only key to my personal and professional beliefs, they’re at the heart of SEPA’s statutory purpose.”

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