SEPA Corporate Leadership Team

SEPA's Chief Executive Officer leads the Corporate Leadership Team (CLT), which includes five Chief Officers and one Executive Director.

CLT reports directly to the Board, overseeing strategic planning, business management issues and relationships and change management.

The chief officers, also members of CLT, lead on delivering and reviewing business operations. They work extremely closely with the SEPA directors both on “normal” business as well as on the leadership and management of change over the next two years.

Nicole Paterson - SEPA CEO

Nicole Paterson Nicole is an award-winning local government Chief Officer, with nearly three decades of experience across five local authorities, consultancy and environmental non-executive roles. With more than twenty-five years of experience in local government specifically, Nicole joins us from North Lanarkshire Council, Scotland’s fourth largest local authority, where her role as Head of Environmental Assets saw her drive a strategic vision of community focused, inclusive growth and prosperity. Nicole led systemic change on climate change adaption, biodiversity, flood risk management, transport policy, planning and green spaces. Nicole previously spent over a decade at Stirling Council leading strategic 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, Nicole is a member of 7 Lochs Wetland Park and previously the Inner Forth Landscape Initiative.

Ian Buchanan - Chief Officer, Regulatory Reform and Build

Ian Buchanan (2) Ian joined SEPA at its formation in 1996 following several years working in Environmental Health with Stirling District Council. Starting as an Environmental Protection Officer, Ian has undertaken a number of roles within SEPA in areas including waste strategy, business management and a number of leadership roles. Prior to taking up the Chief Officer post in 2018, Ian was Head of East Region.

Lin Bunten - Acting Chief Officer, Compliance and Beyond

Lin Bunten Lin joined SEPA in 1999 as a regulator and has held senior operational and leadership roles including Head of East Region and Head of Resolution. Prior to joining SEPA Lin spent 10 years in the private sector working in the chemical industry. Lin is a Chartered Engineer and a Member of the Institution of Chemical Engineers.

David Harley - Acting Chief Officer, Circular Economy

David Harley David has worked for SEPA and predecessor bodies since 1991 in a wide variety of roles including ecological assessment, regulation, water policy and water framework directive implementation. Prior to taking up this role in February 2022, David was SEPA’s Head of Water & Planning responsible for SEPA’s land use planning service, river basin management planning, water and land policy, water industry investment planning and river restoration funding.

John Kenny - Acting Chief Officer, People and Property

John Kenny John joined SEPA in 1996 as an Environment Protection Officer in the Perth team, having worked for Perth & Kinross Council as a Waste Regulation Officer. John worked as a Senior Officer and Unit Manager in the Perth team. During this time John completed an MSc in Waste Water Management before undertaking a number of National roles including managing SEPAs Water Unit, Central Regulatory Unit and the Waste and Enforcement function. John was Head of National Operations from 2012 to 2017 before taking up his role as Chief Officer, Circular Economy. John has been a full member of the Chartered Institute of Waste Management for more years than he can remember.

Bridget Marshall - Acting Chief Officer, Green Recovery

Bridget Marshall Bridget joined SEPA in 2002 as Head of Operations Legal Team. She was heavily involved in the SEPA Better Regulation work and seconded into Scottish Government for several years to undertake the policy work for both Scottish Government and SEPA on the Regulatory Reform (Scotland) Act 2014. In recent years she has been Head of Regulatory Strategy and Government Relations, which is a strategic legal post focusing on policy and regulatory reform, government relations and international work. Prior to joining SEPA, Bridget worked in private practice as a commercial litigation solicitor and has had an extensive career in public and environmental law and regulation. She started as a senior solicitor in the National Rivers Authority and then the Environment Agency specialising in water, radioactive and waste law.

Angela Milloy - Chief Officer, Finance

Angela Milloy Angela has a wealth of experience and came to SEPA from her role as Head of Finance, IT & Retail at Glasgow Life. Prior to that she was worked in the higher education sector at the University West of Scotland as Interim Director of Finance. She brings a wide-range of experience across sectors to the role.

David Pirie - Executive Director, Evidence and Flooding

David Pirrie David joined SEPA in 1996 as a Senior Chemist. He became South West Chemistry Unit Manager in 1999, Chemistry Services Manager in 2001 and Head of Chemistry in 2004. His career has included posts with the Water Research Centre, University of Aberdeen and the Clyde River Purification Board. David has a degree in Chemistry form the University of Aberdeen and a PhD in Environmental Chemistry from the University of Glasgow. He is a Chartered Chemist and a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Kirsty Paterson - Chief People Officer, People and Property

Kirsty Paterson Kirsty is a new member of SEPA's Leadership Team, joining in August 2023. Kirsty was previously HR Director, Group & Construction at Robertson Group. She joins to lead the people, organisational development, workspaces and health and safety functions, bringing a wealth or experience from across the private sector. She previously held senior roles as part of the London 2012 Olympic Games and Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.