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Scotch Whisky Association announces Karen Betts as chief executive

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The Scotch Whisky Association has confirmed the appointment of a former UK ambassador as its new chief executive.

Karen Betts will become the first female chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association

Karen Betts will become the first female chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association

Karen Betts, who was until recently the British Ambassador to Morocco, will be the trade organisation's first female head. She replaces David Frost, who had previously been the British ambassador to Denmark, as CEO after he stepped down in November.

The post has been filled on an interim basis by deputy chief executive Julie Hesketh-Laird.

"It's an exciting and challenging time for the Scotch whisky industry," said Betts today. "I am looking forward immensely to helping ensure its success into the future."

She will assume the role on 19 May.

In figures released in September, the SWA reported a 1% dip in Scotch exports for the first six months of last year, in value terms. The performance marked an improvement on the 12 months of 2015, when exports by value were down by 2% year-on-year.

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