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Scottish Government Special Advisers

Special Advisers provide advice to the First Minister, Cabinet Secretaries and Ministers across all portfolio areas in the Scottish Government.

The Special Advisers at September 2016 are as follows:



Liz Lloyd


Chief of Staff to the First Minister including the co-ordination of the Special Adviser team.

Responsible for the First Minister’s Strategic Programme in Government including European engagement and Inter-governmental relations.

Stuart Nicolson



Head of Communications.

Senior Political Spokesperson for the First Minister.

Colin McAllister


Head of Policy and Senior Special Adviser to the Deputy First Minister.

Special Adviser for Education & Skills.

Special Adviser for Finance (jointly with Liz Lloyd).

First Minister’s Questions, Programme for Government.

Ewan Crawford

Senior Special Adviser supporting Ministers on Government Economic Strategy, Europe and Constitutional issues.

Ross Ingebrigtsen


Communications Special Adviser.

Deputy Spokesperson for the First Minister.

Strategic communications planning.

John MacInnes


Political Research.

Support for First Minister’s Questions and parliamentary debates.

Support to Communications and Policy Special Advisers.

Davie Hutchison



Special Adviser for Health & Sport and for Broadcasting.

John McFarlane



Special Adviser for Justice, Transport and the Economy.

Parliamentary Business.

Jeanette Campbell



Special Adviser for Communities, Social Security, Equalities, Jobs and Fair Work.

Kate Higgins



Special Adviser for the Rural Economy & Connectivity.

Support to the Head of Policy.

Katy Bowman


Support for the First Minister and the First Minister’s Private Office.

Outreach and stakeholder engagement.

Special Adviser for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs and policy support to the Chief of Staff.

David Miller



Special Adviser for Energy, Environment, Climate Change & Land Reform.