Thursday 05 November 2020


British Council is pleased to announce that Leigh Gibson has been appointed the British Council's new Director, Scotland. Reporting into James Hampson, Director UK Region and External Relations, she will join the team in Edinburgh this week.

Leigh Gibson joins the British Council Scotland from the US where she has spent the last four years leading operations as Country Director in Washington DC. Leigh led the development of the strategic country plan in the U.S, developing business and operational objectives, all against the backdrop of radical shifts in the political and economic environment. During her time in Washington, Leigh maintained strong international contacts including with the Scottish Government, through her work as Cultural Counsellor for the British Embassy in Washington.

Leigh brings with her a wealth of international experience in priority countries for Scotland including leading major festivals in Russia and China. She has held roles as Director, UK-Russia Year of Culture in 2014 and Director, UK Now across 29 cities in China in 2012. As Director Festivals and Seasons she developed the strategy and framework for a global programme of bilateral seasons, did a stint as the British Council’s Director, Partnerships & Business Development and has held senior global roles elsewhere in the organisation including as Director, Arts.

Commenting on her new role, Leigh Gibson said,

"I am delighted to be taking up this new position in Scotland and to have the opportunity to contribute to the valuable impact our team makes in education, culture and society. 2020 has brought with it significant challenges for the arts and education communities in Scotland and around the world and maintaining global connections is more important than ever. I’m looking forward enormously to working with the team and with our Scottish and overseas partners to help facilitate exchange and mobility opportunities and develop new perspectives on education programmes and creative responses to this changing world.” 

Working with senior colleagues across the organisation, Leigh will be responsible for leading and developing the British Council's work in sustaining and growing the British Council's current network of relationships across Scotland and building connections globally, and thereby enhancing the organisation's reputation and profile in terms of policy development. A key part of this role will be supporting innovative arts and education projects through this crucial time.

Welcoming Leigh’s appointment, Seona Reid, Chair of British Council Scotland’s Advisory Committee said,

 “I am delighted that Leigh will join the British Council as Director Scotland. She joins an exceptionally strong team at a critical moment in the Council’s work of linking Scotland with the world. Her experience and knowledge will be immensely valuable to the work that we are doing with partners and stakeholders across the arts and education sectors, in helping to support their resilience in this challenging period and to sustain their international links”.

Leigh Gibson joins the seven-strong Scotland team that includes Norah Campbell as Head of Arts and Lucy Young, Head of Education. Lucy and Norah have been working as Acting Directors for Scotland over the last months. Leigh succeeds Jackie Killeen who is currently on secondment from the British Council working with the Equality and Human Rights Commission.