Chair of the Board of Trustees reappointed

The Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and Environment today announced the reappointment of Sir Muir Russell as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

Sir Muir Russell has extensive experience both as a Chair and of giving direction and leadership, building and leading teams and change management.  He has been the Chair of the Judicial Appointment Board for Scotland since 2008 and following two reappointments will stand down in 2016.  He is a non-executive member of the board of the National House Building Council (NHBC) and chairs its Audit and Scottish committees and is a Vice Chair of the Glasgow School of Art.

Sir Muir graduate with First Class Honour in Physics from the University of Glasgow in 1970 and joined the Scottish Office, where he held a number of positions in policy and administration, legislation and other parliamentary work leading to senior management responsibility.  He was the Permanent Secretary from 1998 to 2003.  In 2003 he was appointed Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Glasgow and served for six years.


The reappointment is for four years and will run from 1 December 2015 to 30 November 2019.  It is non-remunerated and part-time with a time commitment of 16 days per year.

This reappointment is regulated by the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland.

Ministerial Appointments

Sir Muir is Chair of the Judicial Appointment Board for Scotland for which he receives £17,500 per annum for a time commitment of one day per week.

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.  Sir Muir has had no political activity in the last five years.

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is an internationally renowned centre of excellence in plant biodiversity research and conservation, and contributes to eleven of the Scottish Government’s National Outcomes.  Its educational programme caters for every stage in life, its four sites across Scotland are major tourist attractions and places of recreation for local, national and international visitors.  First and foremost, the Garden is a scientific institution dedicated to discovering and describing plants and their relationships, evolution, conservation and biology.  This research is underpinned by the Garden's internationally important collections of living and preserved plants, a large specialist library and well-equipped laboratories.

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is a charity (registration number SC007983)