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Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) welcome Lisa Tennant as new Chair

Date published: 23 January 2024


The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) have welcomed the appointment of Lisa Tennant as Chair of the agency, with effect from January 2024.

Ms. Tennant was appointed by The Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Net Zero and Just Transition, Màiri McAllan MSP and replaces outgoing Chair, Bob Downes.

Ms. Tennant is a Chair and Non-Executive Director with wide ranging experience across the private, public, and charitable sectors. Her previous Board roles include Forestry & Land Scotland and the Scottish Land Fund, where she championed environmental interests. 

Lisa's background in regulation includes positions at the Energy and Communications Ombudsman, Consumer Council for Water and Scottish Solicitors Discipline Tribunal. Committed to diversity, she is an advocate for Neurodiversity and serves as an Ambassador for Women on Boards.

She is committed to leading a collaborative culture, emphasising the power of collective efforts aligned to a clear strategic vision. Integrating ecological considerations with economic growth, Lisa is committed to fostering a cleaner, greener Scotland for all.

"With Scotland’s environmental, economic and social prosperity so prominently in focus, it’s an exciting time for Scotland’s environment agency, our people and partners. We’re delighted to welcome Lisa Tennant as our new Chair.  Her considerable experience will be invaluable as we continue our reset and reform, finalise our emerging corporate plan, and accelerate the delivery of our key services. Lisa will build on the significant contribution made by Bob Downes, who we thank for his significant contribution to both SEPA and Scotland’s environment across seventeen years on the agency board.  We wish Bob well for his next steps."
“As Scotland’s environment watchdog, SEPA are on the frontline of the climate emergency and provides nationally important public services.  It’s progressive statutory purpose on environment, economy and society not only aligns with my own values, but also with my experience across public, private and charitable sectors.  Supporting the fresh leadership of Chief Executive, Nicole Paterson, and working towards a new corporate plan, I look forward to driving the agency’s focus and supporting delivery.  When SEPA succeeds, Scotland succeeds and I’m conscious we do this through our brilliant people and partners.  I’m therefore very much looking forward to meeting both our teams and our external partners across Scotland in the time ahead.”


The appointment is for four years from 1 January 2024 until 31 December 2027.

The appointment is regulated by the Ethical Standards Commissioner.

Remuneration and time commitment

The appointment attracts remuneration of £341.75 per day for a time commitment of twelve days per month.

Other Ministerial appointments

Lisa Tennant does not hold any other public appointments in Scotland.

Political activity

All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process.  However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity within the last five years (if there is any to be declared) to be made public.

Lisa Tennant has had no political activity within the last five years.


The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) are Scotland’s principal environmental regulator, protecting and improving Scotland’s environment. Scotland’s environment is a precious and unique resource that is at the heart of our commitment to deliver for Scotland.

They have a unique and visionary statutory purpose: to protect and improve the environment in ways that, as far as possible, also create health and wellbeing benefits and sustainable economic growth. As a non-departmental public body of the Scottish Government with around 1,300 staff across Scotland and a budget of over £93 m, SEPA are responsible for delivering two fundamental services – environmental regulation and flood risk management.