The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has named a serving British Ambassador, Sarah Dickson, as its new director of global affairs, responsible for the trade body’s international and European Union business.

Dickson is leaving her post as HM Ambassador to Guatemala and Honduras in the summer to head up the SWA’s new London office near Westminster after it opens in July.

She joins the whisky trade body to help build and extend the SWA’s international influence and contacts, eliminate barriers to the export of Scotch and position the organisation as one with broad international credibility on the importance of free trade and open markets.

Dickson, who has an MBA and whose first degree was from Cambridge University, has held a number of roles with the UK Diplomatic Service in the UK and overseas, including in Spain and in South America.

The SWA has also appointed a head of external affairs in London, Graeme Littlejohn. He was previously head of office for Danny Alexander when he was an MP and Chief Secretary to the Treasury. Littlejohn will develop SWA relationships across Whitehall and Westminster.

Helena Mumdzjana, a trade policy manager with the SWA, will move from Edinburgh to London and further trade and regulation specialists will be appointed to the team in due course.

Edinburgh will remain the SWA’s head office. The Association will move from Atholl Crescent to the city’s modern Quartermile development over the summer.

Dickson said: “I’m looking forward to joining the Scotch Whisky Association, an organisation recognised globally for its work in representing a highly successful Scottish and British industry. I will develop the Association’s sterling work in trade policy and build its presence in London with the help of a strong team.”

David Frost, Scotch Whisky Association chief executive, said: “I’m delighted that Sarah and Graeme are joining the Association. They bring a wealth of experience and will be real assets as we grow our presence in London and overseas.”

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