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September start for new High Life Highland Chief Executive

Steve Walsh OBE has been appointed as the Chief Executive designate for High Life Highland, it was announced today by Donald McLachlan, the Chair of the charity’s Board.  Mr Walsh will take up post in early September 2019, following the retirement of current Chief Executive, Ian Murray.

Steve Walsh is currently Head of People and ICT at The Highland Council and has held this position since 2016.   He has had extensive experience of successful financial and people management in a number of high-profile appointments throughout his career. Prior to The Highland Council, Steve’s experience included various roles in the private sector and a distinguished career in the Royal Air Force. Having worked as a business development executive, Steve also has wide experience in stakeholder relationship management in the Private Sector.

While in the RAF, Steve held senior roles in the Ministry of Defence and Permanent Joint Headquarters. He was transformation director for the closure of RAF Kinloss, leading through a period of exceptional change. Steve amassed over 4,500 flying hours on the Nimrod and his RAF career also included command appointments and several operational tours overseas, including Afghanistan and Iraq. His last role was at HQ Air Command, where he led strategic resourcing during a period of unprecedented, concurrent change. Steve was awarded the OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List of 2013.

As a member of The Highland Council’s executive leadership team, Steve understands the challenges and opportunities currently facing public service delivery in the Highlands, and the need to prioritise solutions that allow local voices to be heard.  A keen weightlifter, Steve lives in Inverness with his wife and three daughters, he is a non-executive Board member of Inverness College UHI and holds a number of roles in the voluntary sector.

Steve Walsh said:

“It is a huge honour and privilege to join the fantastic team at High Life Highland. The work of High Life Highland encompasses much of what inspires and motivates me as a person. Providing equal access to culture, learning, sport, leisure, health and wellbeing has never been more important in our society. Moreover, as a current member of The Highland Council’s executive leadership team, I understand the community challenges and opportunities against an increasingly challenging financial backdrop facing The Highland Council. Across the Highlands, those challenges and opportunities vary greatly and therefore a priority must be to develop solutions that allow local voices to be heard in terms of shaping the services offered by HLH for the future.”

Chair of the High Life Highland Board, Donald McLachlan said:

“On behalf of the High Life Highland Board of Directors, I am delighted to welcome Steve Walsh to the Chief Executive role for the charity.

Mr McLachlan continued: “Within the ongoing context of challenging public sector finances, the Board of High Life Highland welcomes the extensive experience in leadership and change management that Steve will bring to the organisation’s future development.

Mr Walsh will take up the position of Chief Executive of the charity on 2 September 2019.