Professor Sarah Skerratt has been the organisation’s director of programmes for two years, and takes up the chief executive’s role at Scotland’s National Academy following a “competitive process”.
Before joining the RSE, Skerratt was director of policy engagement at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and a professor of rural society and policy.
Sir John Ball, president of the RSE, said: “In a highly competitive field, Professor Skerratt demonstrated a compelling understanding of what the RSE needs. Her strong leadership track-record, and her broad experience across an impressive 30-plus year career makes her the ideal candidate to step into the role of chief executive.”
Skerratt, who will take over from interim chief executive Eve Poole in September, said: “It is a privilege to be appointed as chief executive of the RSE. The Academy’s fellowship is made up of some of the greatest thinkers and leaders in Scotland, and as chief executive of Scotland’s National Academy, I am determined to help mobilise the fellowship - from Shetland to Stranraer and Stornoway to St Abbs.
“We strive to make knowledge useful at the RSE, and I intend to deliver on that promise. It’s not just about fellows having the opportunity to give back by sharing their knowledge, but about creating a collaborative community to make the most of the RSE’s unique status as an inter-disciplinary fellowship.
“Personally, having access to knowledge as a young person changed my life,” she added. “Without role models and influencers, we cannot hope to inspire Scotland’s future generations.”