New Deputy Chair of SEPA Board

  16 October 2023
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) have announced the appointment of board member Dr Harpreet Kohli to the post of Deputy Chair. 

Dr Kohli, who became a board member in 2020, was appointed as Deputy Chair by Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Net Zero and Just Transition, Màiri McAllan, and will take on the new role from January 2024. 


The role will support SEPA Chief Executive, Nicole Paterson, a new Agency Board Chair (under recruitment) and members in finalising the development and driving delivery of a refreshed corporate plan.  The role will also support the agency’s focus on public sector reform, transformation and service delivery.  The organisation are finding new ways to deliver its purpose and strategic priorities of protecting and improving the environment in ways that, as far as possible, also create health and wellbeing benefits and sustainable economic growth for the people of Scotland. 


Dr Kohli trained in general practice before going into public health where he used the knowledge, skills and experience gained as a consultant in public health medicine. His subsequent work as Medical Advisor at NHS Quality Improvement Scotland and as a Director of Public Health deepened his critical and economic appraisal skills and gave him experience as an executive board member. He is a co-opted Member of Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP) and a Trustee of the UK-Med charity. 


Bob Downes, SEPA Chair, said: 


“The global challenges of the climate and nature emergencies aligned with the environmental, social and economic opportunities of Net Zero are key to a future where Scotland thrives.  Harpreet’s leadership as Deputy Chair will help shape the critical role Scotland’s environment protection agency plays in our national response to the greatest challenge of our lifetime.”


Dr Harpreet Kohli, SEPA Deputy Chair, said: 


“It is a privilege to take on this role and an exciting time to be part of the board.  SEPA are changing today, to be fit to meet the challenges of tomorrow, and I’m committed to supporting the organisation’s reform, transformation and delivery through

the development and implementation of our next three-year Corporate Plan. This will set out strategic priorities and give the organisation focused outcomes, helping shape the future of our environment and drive the change needed to deliver for Scotland.” 


As Scotland’s principal environmental regulator, SEPA are at the forefront of protecting and enhancing our natural environment. Agency Board members provide the strong leadership required to achieve ambitious targets on the climate and nature crises while driving the organisation to continue to modernise and build its services. 


SEPA are in the process of recruiting new members to join the Agency Board. This includes a new Chair and up to five new board members. Applications for the position of Chair closed earlier this month, and applications for the role of board member close on Friday 20 October. Visit for more information and how to apply.  


Appointments to SEPA’s Board are made by Scottish Ministers and regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments in Scotland. The appointments are also regulated by the Ethical Standards Commissioner. 




Notes to Editor: 

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