Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) appoints Nicole Paterson as its next Chief Executive

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 SEPA 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.

Commenting on her appointment, Nicole said: “Scotland’s stunning environment, its lochs and its land, are world-renowned, and being trusted to protect them for future generations, while supporting our nation to adapt to a changing climate, is a privilege.” Chair of the SEPA Board, Bob Downes, commented “I’m delighted that in Nicole, we’ve found an optimistic, energetic leader who’s as passionate about Scotland’s environment, our statutory purpose and delivering modern, effective and essential public services as we are.  But more than that, we’ve found in Nicole an open, supportive and motivational leader committed to collaboration and building a workforce reflective of the country we serve.