Francesca Osowska appointed Scottish Natural Heritage chief executive

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 12 July 2017 in News

Francesca Osowska OBE will move from her current role as director for the Scotland Office in the UK Government to SNH on 1 October

Image credit: Michel Curi

Francesca Osowska has been appointed as Scottish Natural Heritage’s new chief executive.

Osowska will move from her current role as director for the Scotland Office in the UK Government to SNH on 1 October.

SNH’s current chief executive, Ian Jardine, will take up a new role with the Scottish Government as a national adviser on environment policy to strengthen its EU-related analysis, engagement and policy work.


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Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “I am delighted to approve the appointment of Francesca Osowska as chief executive of Scottish Natural Heritage. Francesca’s wealth of experience in leading transformational change and of government policy should be a great asset to SNH, and I look forward to working with her.

“I also wish to pay tribute to Ian Jardine for his leadership of SNH over many years and I am very pleased that our work on future environment policy and regulation will gain from his extensive knowledge and experience, including of the European Union.”

Osowska was educated in Cumbria and at Cambridge University where she obtained an MA in economics.  She also received an MA in European economics from the College of Europe in Bruges.

She was principal private secretary to Alex Salmond as First Minister between 2007 and 2009, then in December 2009 moved to become director for Culture, External Affairs and Tourism.

Osowska was appointed director for Housing, Regeneration and the Commonwealth Games in the Scottish Government in January 2010 and subsequently moved to the post of director for the Commonwealth Games and Sport in January 2013. 

She was appointed as director for the Scotland Office in the UK Government in January 2015. Osowska was awarded an OBE for services to Government and the Commonwealth Games in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours in January 2015.

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