New Board members bring industry expertise to SRUC

11/04/2024
Aileen Brown, Katrina Hayter and Fiona Larg join SRUC as non-executive directors to the Board

Three new appointments to the Board of Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) bring a depth of expertise in the higher education, financial, food and agricultural sectors.

The appointment of Fiona Larg, Katrina Hayter and Aileen Brown also creates a more balanced SRUC Board in terms of equality and diversity of perspectives.

A chartered accountant by background, Fiona has served as Chief Executive of Inverness and Nairn Enterprise and held senior management positions with Cap Gemini and Vertex Data Science Ltd. She played a formative role in the creation of the University of the Highlands and Islands and was awarded the MBE in 2017 for services to higher education in Scotland.

In addition to her executive roles, Fiona has volunteered in a non-executive capacity on the boards of charities and business organisations, including the Law Society of Scotland, Robertson Trust, Port of Cromarty Firth, Highland Tourism Community Interest Company and Prosper’s (formerly SCDI) Highlands and Islands committee.

She said: “I am delighted to have been selected as a director of SRUC. In my previous role as Chief Operating Officer of UHI, I worked closely with SRUC as we had so much in common – the only higher education institutions in Scotland responsible for delivering further as well as higher education and overcoming the challenges of delivering in remote and rural areas across Scotland.”

Katrina is Global Head of Sustainable Land Use & Supply Chains at HSBC working to develop the company’s net-zero business plan and supporting the bank and its customers globally, in land-based industries and across supply chains, transition to a low-carbon future.

Previously, she held a number of senior roles at UKRI’s Innovate UK, where she was strongly connected with top leaders in the health, food and agriculture sectors, ministers and other key decisions makers, as well as working for different organisations across the Agri-tech sector including FERA Science, DuPont Pioneer, and the World Economic Forum.

She said: “I was attracted to the role because of SRUC’s ambition around science and innovation, as well as the resilient, profitable and environmentally sustainable agriculture that it’s going to support. I just want to be part of that because it’s so exciting.”

Aileen is a chartered accountant who has held top financial positions in a diverse range of businesses in the private and public sectors as well as acting as a charity trustee.

She is currently a non-executive director of Food Standards Scotland and chairs the Audit and Risk Committee.

She said: “I am absolutely delighted to join SRUC and am looking forward to working with the team.”

Linda Hanna, Chair of the SRUC Board, said: “We had an excellent response to our recruitment exercise, with the calibre of applicants a fantastic endorsement of SRUC.

“I’m delighted from an equality and diversity perspective that we have been able to boost the number of female members on the Board and I am sure that Fiona, Katrina and Aileen will make a significant contribution to SRUC at a crucial time for the organisation.”

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