Public appointment: Chair reappointed to the Board of National Museums Scotland

Public appointments news release.

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The Minister for Culture, Europe and International Development today announced the reappointment of Ian Russell CBE as Chair of the Board of National Museums Scotland.


Ian Russell CBE is a Chartered Accountant and has held a number of senior finance roles in a variety of commercial organisations during his executive career. He was an executive Director of Scottish Power PLC for 12 years, initially as Finance Director and then as Chief Executive. Ian received a CBE in the 2006 New Year Honours List for services to young people and volunteering. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and lives in Edinburgh.


This reappointment will be for four years and will run from 1 August 2024 to 31 July 2028.

This reappointment is regulated by the Ethical Standards Commissioner.


This reappointment is part-time with a time commitment of up to four days per month. Appointments to the Board of National Museums Scotland are not remunerated.  

Other ministerial appointments

Ian Russell CBE is Chair of the Scottish Futures Trust which has a time commitment of three days per month. He does not receive a remuneration for this appointment.

Political activity

All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process.  However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity within the last five years (if there is any to be declared) to be made public.  

Ian Russell CBE has had no political activity within the last five years.


National Museums Scotland is one of the leading museums groups in Europe. It cares for a multi-disciplinary collection of over 12 million objects, bringing together the arts and sciences, and the cultures of Scotland and the world, alongside the diversity of the natural world. The organisation has approximately 460 staff across five sites. It is a Scottish Charity (no. SC 011130) and a Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) sponsored and supported through Grant-in-Aid by the Scottish Government, and governed by an independent Board of Trustees. It receives around £25 million of Scottish Government funding annually. National Museums Scotland’s priorities reflect its statutory duties to care for the items it holds, and to make them accessible through providing education, encouraging research, and promoting public awareness. Its four museums (the National Museum of Scotland on Chambers Street in Edinburgh, the National War Museum in Edinburgh Castle, the National Museum of Flight in East Lothian and the National Museum of Rural Life near East Kilbride) are enjoyed by millions of local and international visitors each year.

As a national centre of excellence, the organisation is committed to widening access to and participation with its collections, reaching out across Scotland, the UK and internationally. This includes an extensive programme of: touring exhibitions; loans; community-based partnership projects, often within disadvantaged areas; training and skills development, including developing young people; the provision of advice and support to the museum sector; administering the National Fund for Acquisitions; and operating the Treasure Trove scheme. The cultural, social, educational and economic value of its work is wide-reaching, creating impact on people’s lives through sharing the fascinating stories of the millions of remarkable objects it cares for in Scotland’s National Collection.

National Museums Scotland operates within the context of the Scottish Government’s national outcomes and strategic objectives.

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