Ms. Francis, who has been a member of the board for six years, was appointed as Deputy Chair by the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham, and will assume the post from April 2020.
With two decades of experience in environment and sustainability across the public and private sectors, the role will complement that of the Chair, Bob Downes, on the 11-strong agency board with SEPA CEO Terry A’Hearn.
An alumnus of the University of Aberdeen and Edinburgh Napier University, Ms. Francis previously held the position of Head of Environment at Network Rail, was formerly on the board of Scottish Natural Heritage and is the director of two environment and sustainability consultancies.
Bob Downes, SEPA Chair, said:
“SEPA plays an important role in the life of Scotland and now more than ever we have a critical role to play in helping support Scottish businesses adapt during this next period. More than that, we’ll be helping Scotland plan for recovery. With Michelle’s Scottish business sustainability experience she will play a critical role in helping our people deliver our ambitious One Planet Prosperity agenda.”
Michelle Francis, SEPA Deputy Chair, said:
"It is a privilege to take on this role at a critical time where for many an extended period indoors reminds us all how important the wider environment is. I look forward to helping to ensure SEPA supports Scotland to get through the current crisis and then push forward with delivering One Planet Prosperity as part of our recovery."
SEPA’s board is responsible for the overall direction and performance of the agency, including its effectiveness as a public body, and continues to meet virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Appointments are made by Scottish Ministers and are regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments in Scotland.
SEPA’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic can be found at coronavirus.sepa.org.uk.