Director of Agriculture and Rural Economy

George Burgess



Director of Agriculture and Rural Economy
Scottish Government
Saughton House
Broomhouse Drive
EH11 3XD


George Burgess has been Interim Director of Agriculture and Rural Economy since March 2022.


The Director of Agriculture and Rural Economy oversees the Agriculture and Rural Economy Directorate, helping the directorate to:

  • support Scotland in being a global leader in sustainable and regenerative agriculture and meeting our net zero targets and biodiversity goals
  • achieve Ambition 2030, global trade success and work to maximise the potential of Scotland’s food and drink sector
  • enable island and rural communities to thrive, including the land reform agenda
  • create the policy framework to shape agriculture and the rural economy
  • engage with and support thousands of organisations across the agricultural, rural and food and drink sectors and promote Scottish interests globally
  • provide financial support to the agriculture and rural sectors to enable sustainable land management
  • maintain animal welfare standards and plant health regulations and standards


Prior to his current role, George was head of the Food and Drink division, with responsibilities including EU exit, Covid recovery and trade policy. He has a wide range of experience working on climate change, environmental quality, EU and international trade and investment, devolution and constitutional policy, as well as having been private secretary to the Deputy First Minister.

George is married with one daughter. He was born in Aberdeen and attended Keith Grammar School in Banffshire. He has an MA in Natural Sciences and a PhD on Electron Microscopy from the University of Cambridge.

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