Stephen Pathirana

Stephen was appointed Director of Lifelong Learning and Skills in December 2022, alongside his job-share partner, Katherine Peskett.

His previous roles have included:

  • Acting Co-Director of Justice
  • Deputy Director for Trade and Investment Delivery
  • Deputy Director for Building and Fire Safety Co-ordination, Grenfell Response

Stephen has been a civil servant for over 20 years, during which he has also worked as a national expert for the European Commission and for the UK Department of Trade and Industry.

Prior to this, he was a research scientist at Edinburgh University. He holds a PhD in Developmental Biology from the University of Edinburgh and also has a BSc in Development Biology.

Stephen grew up both in the UK and Sri Lanka. His mixed-race background has given him perspective on his own identity and how to support diversity.

Stephen is a former leader of the Scottish Government’s Race Equality Network and maintains a close working relationship with the group.

Married with two daughters, Stephen lives in Haddington.

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