12 Jul 2017: Francesca Osowska appointed Scottish Natural Heritage chief executive
The new Scottish Natural Heritage’s new chief executive will take up her post on 1 October 2017.
Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “I am delighted to approve the appointment of Francesca Osowska as chief executive of Scottish Natural Heritage. Francesca’s wealth of experience in leading transformational change and of government policy should be a great asset to SNH, and I look forward to working with her.
She was principal private secretary to Alex Salmond as First Minister between 2007 and 2009, then in December 2009 moved to become director for Culture, External Affairs and Tourism.
Osowska was appointed director for Housing, Regeneration and the Commonwealth Games in the Scottish Government in January 2010 and subsequently moved to the post of director for the Commonwealth Games and Sport in January 2013.
She was appointed as director for the Scotland Office, reporting to David Mundell in the UK Government in January 2015. She was awarded an OBE for services to Government (unclear which) and the Commonwealth Games in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours in January 2015.
Scottish Natural Heritage – Annual Running Costs:
Total Budget. £48Million approx:
Staffing costs. £26.5Million approx: (about 55%)
Board. 10. (4 male 6 female)
Senior leadership team. 8. (3 male 5 Female)
Employees. 712. (308 male 422 female)
Total staffing: 730
Just weeks after she took up her post in what was reported to be the biggest challenge to her organizational abilities she elected to be interviewed by the Herald’s Mark Smith. And she opens with an attack on her time spent with Alex Salmond to whom she was the Principal Private Secretary from 2007-2009. Judge for yourself the references to working at Bute House at midnight. A prophetic article indeed!!!!!!!!
28 Nov 2017: Alex Salmond and Francesca Osowska: wrestling with politics’ big beast
Francesca Osowska has some pretty big challenges to wrestle with, in her new job as chief executive of Scottish Natural Heritage. Should we reintroduce wolves and lynx to Scotland? Should the controversial culling of wild hares continue? Can we save the capercaillie?
But none of the critical questions about Scotland’s iconic species quite compares to her days wrestling with one of the big beasts of politics: the former First Minister Alex Salmond. The subject of Mr. Salmond crops up while Osowska and I are talking about her impressive career in government and the civil service.
Osowska, who’s 47, has been, among other things, an economist at the Scottish Office, director for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, and head of the UK Government in Scotland.
But when I ask her what the lowest point of her career was, she mentions her time as principal private secretary to Alex Salmond from 2007 to 2009. She then says she’s going to have to be very careful about what she says next, which is not a surprise from Osowska.
After a long career in the civil service, the way she talks can be a bit jargony, slick and ultimately aimed at avoiding answering the question – a bit Sir Humphrey. She pauses for a bit then decides on the words she wants to use.
“There were times when I was working as principal private secretary to the former First Minister Alex Salmond which were challenging,” she says, with a heavy emphasis on the word challenging. “I would find myself at Bute House at midnight in front of my computer thinking “oh s**t, how am going to resolve this by 8am?” Long hours. Challenging issues.
There’s no doubt that, after years in the civil service, Osowska is used to working in stressful environments at the highest levels. Indeed, if anything, her new post at Scottish Natural Heritage ramps up the stress even further. More here: Mark Smith: