Scotch Whisky Association makes senior level appointments

29 Jun 2015

Trade body is building its London presence

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has named a serving British Ambassador, Sarah Dickson, as its new director of global affairs, responsible for the trade body's international and European Union business.

Dickson is leaving her post as HM Ambassador to Guatemala and Honduras in the summer to head up the SWA's new London office near Westminster after it opens in July.

She joins the whisky trade body to help build and extend the SWA's international influence and contacts, eliminate barriers to the export of Scotch and position the organisation as one with broad international credibility on the importance of free trade and open markets.

Dickson, who has an MBA and whose first degree was from Cambridge University, has held a number of roles with the UK Diplomatic Service in the UK and overseas, including in Spain and in South America.

The SWA has also appointed a head of external affairs in London, Graeme Littlejohn. He was previously head of office for Danny Alexander when he was an MP and Chief Secretary to the Treasury. Littlejohn will develop SWA relationships across Whitehall and Westminster. 

Helena Mumdzjana, a trade policy manager with the SWA, will move from Edinburgh to London and further trade and regulation specialists will be appointed to the team in due course.

Edinburgh will remain the SWA's head office. The Association will move from Atholl Crescent to the city's modern Quartermile development over the summer.

Sarah Dickson said: "I'm looking forward to joining the Scotch Whisky Association, an organisation recognised globally for its work in representing a highly successful Scottish and British industry. I will develop the Association's sterling work in trade policy and build its presence in London with the help of a strong team."

David Frost, Scotch Whisky Association chief executive, said: "I'm delighted that Sarah and Graeme are joining the Association. They bring a wealth of experience and will be real assets as we grow our presence in London and overseas."


For more information please contact Rosemary Gallagher, SWA head of communications, 0131 222 9230/07432 605385 or email

Sarah Dickson's biography:
Since July 2012, Sarah Dickson (42) has been British Ambassador to Guatemala and Honduras, jointly accredited to both countries. She has been responsible for the full range of British Government work in those countries: government to government relations, prosperity and trade, security and the protection of British citizens, and public diplomacy.

Sarah is a specialist in European and Latin American affairs. She joined the FCO in 1995. Before her current role she had postings in Madrid, where she was chief of staff and head of communications, in Buenos Aires, and in Belgrade. In London she worked twice in the EU Directorate, and has also worked in the FCO's Press Office and Security Policy Department. 

She has a BA (Hons) in Law and Classics from Cambridge University and gained an MBA from the Open University in 2011. She speaks Spanish fluently. She is married with two children.

Sarah is now returning to the UK to take up the position of director of global affairs with the Scotch Whisky Association in London.

From next month, the SWA's London address is:
Scotch Whisky Association, 10 Greycoat Place, Westminster, City of Westminster, London, SW1P 1SB