HIGHLANDS and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has appointed Charlotte Wright its new chief executive.
Currently the agency’s director of business and sector development, Ms Wright has been interim chief executive since the end of August.
She will oversee a budget of £65.9 million to invest in developing businesses, economic sectors and communities across an area which covers half of Scotland.
Scottish Rural Economy and Connectivity Minister Fergus Ewing said: “Charlotte has proven herself as an exceptional leader who is absolutely committed to making a difference in every part of the region, and I am certain she will be a highly effective and inspiring chief executive for years to come.
“The Scottish Government and HIE work closely together on economic development and that arrangement works well.”
Ms Wright joined HIE 20 years ago, having previously run her own small business and worked in the NHS.
She held several positions with HIE in Lochaber before becoming the agency’s regional director for Highland in 2008 and director of business and sector development in 2010.
“It has been an absolute privilege to have served HIE in my present post, and I am both delighted and honoured to have been appointed as chief executive,” said Ms Wright.
“We will undoubtedly face some challenges in the next few years but our businesses and communities have proven themselves time and again to be resilient and adaptable to new circumstances.
“I look forward to working with our many partners to ensure the Highlands and Islands continues to punch above its weight as a successful region and make a strong contribution to Scotland’s economic growth.”
HIE chairman Lorne Crerar said: “In Charlotte Wright, I am confident we have found the ideal person to lead HIE into a new chapter.