Friday, March 03, 2017


The Scotch Whisky Association, has announced the appointment of its eighth Chief Executive.

Karen Betts, joins the Scotch Whisky Association, after a 16 year career at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, most recently as British Ambassador to Morocco. She also becomes the first female Chief Executive of the association in its 105 year history.

New SWA Chief Executive - Karen Betts

During a successful diplomatic career at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Karen held a variety of posts in London and overseas. These included Counsellor to the British Embassy in Washington and roles at the UK's Permanent Representation to the EU in Brussels and the British Embassy in Baghdad.

Karen has also served in the Cabinet Office and the Joint Intelligence Committee. Prior to joining the FCO, she worked as a lawyer for Clifford Chance in London and Hong Kong. Karen studied law at the College of Law in Guildford and history at St. Andrews University.

Commenting on the news, Karen Betts said: "I am thrilled to have been appointed as CEO of the Scotch Whisky Association to represent one of Scotland's most important industries, at home and overseas.  It's an exciting and challenging time for the Scotch Whisky industry, and I am looking forward immensely to helping ensure its success into the future.  I am also delighted to be moving back to Edinburgh with my family."

Karen Betts takes over as Chief Executive from David Frost, who stepped down from the role in November 2016, having joined the Association in early 2014.

Posted by Steve Rush