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Ambassador to Guatemala and Honduras will head London office for whisky body

Published:  29 June, 2015

The Scotch Whisky Association has recruited the UK's ambassador to Guatemala and Honduras to be its director of global affairs.

Dickson will leave her diplomatic post in July to head a new London office for the SWA, located near Westminster.

She will take responsibility for the trade body's international and EU business.

Her brief will be to build the SWA's international influence and contacts, eliminate export barriers for Scotch and position the organisation as having international credibility in free-trade markets.

She has been with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office for 20 years and has previously held diplomatic posts in Spain, Argentina and Serbia in addition to Central America.

Dickson said: "I will develop the association's sterling work in trade policy and build its presence in London with help of a strong team."

The London office will also have a new head of external affairs. Graeme Littlejohn previously ran the office of former Treasury minister Danny Alexander, the Lib Dem who lost his seat in the May general election. Littlejohn will help develop SWA relationships in central government and parliament.

SWA chief executive David Frost said: "They will bring a wealth of experience and will be real assets as we grow our presence in London and overseas".

Trade policy manager Helena Mumdzjana will move from Edinburgh to the London office.

The SWA said that Edinburgh would remain the organisation's head office. It will move to new premises in the city later in the summer.

Scotch whisky exports fell 7% to just below £4 billion in 2014.