Senior management

The Senior Management Team is supported by about 90 office-based staff working in Aberdeen and approximately 80 operations staff working across Scotland.

Senior Management

FSS staff are led by a Chief Executive and Senior Management Team.

Geoff Ogle – Chief Executive

Geoff Ogle was Director, Scotland for the Food Standards Agency from June 2014 to March 2015. Geoff has been a civil servant since 1984 and within that time has undertaken a variety of posts including policy, programme and operational work. His roles have included being Private Secretary to the Child Support Agency (CSA) Chief Executive and both Head of External Relations and Head of Internal Communications in the CSA.

He moved in March 2002 to the Pension Service in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), where he was a Pension Centre Manager and then Head of the International Pension Centre. Geoff joined the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in December 2008 as Head of GB Field Operations where he improved performance significantly, and was the Senior Investigating Officer during the horsemeat incident from February to May 2013.

He became the FSA’s Acting Director, Wales from May 2013 to February 2014, and was then Portfolio Director until he took his post as the Food Standards Agency’s Scotland Director in June 2014.

Ian McWatt - Deputy Chief Executive & Director of Policy, Science and Operations

As Deputy Chief Executive & Director of Policy, Science and Operations at Food Standards Scotland, Ian oversees food and feed official controls delivery and policy, FSS science teams, local authority enforcement, incident and intelligence response, veterinary audit and technical advice. He also has overall responsibility for food premises approvals, shellfish controls including service level agreement, contract and performance management and wine standards.

Ian joined the Food Standards Agency in 2009 leading on the creation of the Operations Directorate which brought the Meat Hygiene Service and Food Standards Agency together. He then led the Operations team in Scotland from 2012, working closely with Scottish Government to create Food Standards Scotland.

Ian worked with Environmental & Consumer Protection Services from 1990 until 2003 where he led a multi-disciplinary team delivering official controls in food, health and safety, environmental protection and public health.


Julie Hesketh-Laird - Deputy Chief Executive & Director of Strategy, Communications and Programmes

Julie Hesketh-LairdAs Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Strategy, Communications and Programmes at Food Standards Scotland, Julie oversees the delivery of our regulatory strategy, nutrition and digital programmes. She also has overall responsibility for audit assurance, nutrition policy, marketing and communications, governance and infrastructure, including HR, finance and Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

Julie joined Food Standards Scotland in November 2020 following a career in business representation, most recently in iconic Scottish food and drink sectors. Immediately prior to joining FSS she was Chief Executive of the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Association, bringing more than 20 years’ experience in advocacy, government, public and regulatory relations to the organisation.

Julie previously spent over 12 years in the Scotch Whisky Association, latterly as interim CEO. 

In her earlier career she held roles in the Chemical Industries Association, building relationships in the Scottish Parliament and with other stakeholders as well as working in London  for the CBI and in the newly-privatised water industry on a technical portfolio and industry customer-facing and policy campaigns.

Julie is a Keeper of the Quaich and passionate about driving excellence in Scotland’s food and drink and how it is farmed, caught, processed, packaged, marketed and sold.

Professor David Gally – Chief Scientific Advisor

Professor David Gally, Chief Scientific Advisor at Food Standards ScotlandAs Chief Scientific Advisor, Professor David Gally is responsible for providing expert advice on the development of our science and evidence strategy. In addition, he also delivers assurance and governance over procedures for commissioning and evaluating research, risk analysis and public health advice.

David joined Food Standards Scotland in January 2021, bringing more than 20 years of scientific research experience to the organisation, with a particular focus on foodborne infections. His background is in microbiology, focusing on bacterial physiology for his PhD and first Post Doctoral position at the University of Michigan, before moving into gene regulation during a second Post Doctoral post in North Carolina. David then returned to the UK, supported by an MRC Career Development Fellowship focused on the regulation of fimbrial adhesins in E. coli. He has contributed to more than 100 publications in his academic career to date.

David has held a Personal Chair in Microbial Genetics at The Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh, since 2006. He currently leads a British and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) Institute Strategic Programme on the Control of Infectious Diseases in Livestock at The Roslin Institute.

More on this topic


The Board

The members of FSS are informally known as ‘the Board’. They are appointed by Scottish Ministers, through an open, public process.


About Us

Food Standards Scotland (FSS) is the public sector food body for Scotland.