THE Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has announced that former British Ambassador to Morocco, Karen Betts, is its first woman chief executive.

Betts joins the SWA, which represents the iconic industry globally, after a 16-year career in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), taking over from David Frost, who stepped down from the role in November 2016 after joining the association in early 2014.

Most recently Betts was British Ambassador to Morocco and she has become only the eighth head, and the first female chief executive, of the SWA in its 105-year history.

Betts, who studied law at the College of Law in Guildford and history at St Andrews University, said: “I am thrilled to have been appointed as CEO of the Scotch Whisky Association to represent one of Scotland’s most important industries, at home and overseas.

“It’s an exciting and challenging time for the Scotch Whisky industry, and I am looking forward immensely to helping ensure its success into the future. I am also delighted to be moving back to Edinburgh with my family.”

SWA chairman Pierre Pringuet said: “We are delighted that Karen will be joining us.”