FORESTRY Commission CEO Dr Ian Gambles has been announced as the new chair of  the James Hutton Institute board of directors.

Ian has been a director of the environmental research provider since 2014 and chair of the Audit and Finance Committee since 2017. He is also currently a Forestry Commissioner and CEO of the Forestry Commission, serving on the board of the Commission’s scientific research agency, Forest Research.

Ian’s career has spanned both the public and private sectors, including HM Treasury, the Planning Inspectorate and advisory firms KPMG and Deloitte.

Accepting his appointment, Ian said: “I am thrilled to become chair of the James Hutton Institute. As the world faces up to the immense challenges of climate change, including food security, environmental resilience and land use change, the deep expertise of our scientists is a critical asset for Scotland and beyond.

“The value of the Institute’s work deserves wider recognition, and I am committed to supporting Colin Campbell and all our talented staff as we move forward on an ambitious but sustainable path to achieving even greater impact in the future.”

Announcing the appointment, Hutton chief executive, Professor Colin Campbell, commented: “I am delighted that Ian is taking on this role. His experience, skills and knowledge are ideal and he understands our external environment so well. I am looking forward to working with him in his new role as chair and value the continuity that this appointment ensures at a time of great uncertainty on a number of fronts. It will help us maintain momentum and efforts to respond nimbly to new imperatives and opportunities utilising his assured business, financial and professional experience.

“Board members cover a wide range of expertise, skills and knowledge and are instrumental in shaping the strategy of the organisation. This oversight has helped drive up the economic impact that our work provides to the Scottish and UK economy, recently measured at a return of £12.75 for every pound of public money received.

“I would also like to thank and pay tribute to the outgoing chair, James Curran, who has contributed so much to the institute and engaged with board members and all staff so well. James will be made an honorary fellow of the Institute and will continue to interact with us.”

The board succession plans saw Graeme Dickson join earlier this summer and will see other new members in the near future as existing members, Joan MacNaughton, Marian Scott and Stephen Hall all come to the end of their terms of appointment.

New appointments are being sought through a public search and open advertisement.

Forestry Journal remains dedicated to bringing you all the latest news and views from across our industry, plus up-to-date information on the impacts of COVID-19.

Please support us by subscribing to our print edition, delivered direct to your door, from as little at £69 for 1 year – or consider a digital subscription from just £1 for 3 months.

To arrange, follow this link:

Thanks – and stay safe.