Ronan O'Hara joined Crown Estate Scotland as Chief Executive in September 2022. He leads the staff team and works with the Board and the Scottish Government to deliver Crown Estate Scotland's objectives as a new public corporation.
He is a senior property professional specialising in complex property initiatives, strategy development, sustainability, and leading change. His previous roles have included senior appointments at the University of Cambridge, Northern Ireland’s Strategic Investment Board and the Building Research Establishment, amongst others.
Ronan holds degrees in Business and Finance, Building Surveying and Environmental Sciences from the Queens University Belfast, the Open University Business School and London Southbank University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and chartered member of the Chartered Institute of Housing.
Director of Corporate Operations
Esther has worked in media, public affairs and strategic communications for over 20 years. She started her career as a journalist before working in the Scottish Parliament for a group of MSPs.
During a period in Australia, she worked in crisis communications for fast-moving consumer goods companies then for international environmental groups including Pew, WWF and Nature Conservancy.
Returning to the UK, she continued in consultancy before moving to The Crown Estate in 2013. She now oversees communications, partnerships and engagement, policy, and governance for Crown Estate Scotland.
Esther sits on the Board of Children in Scotland.
Director of Property
Oster is a Chartered commercial property surveyor, with over 14 years’ experience in leading multi-skilled property teams to deliver commercial property investment initiatives, capital projects and asset management.
Most recently Head of Estates at Port of London Authority, he has held a variety of roles in asset management and surveying over the course of his career.
Oster is responsible for our rural and coastal assets, which include 37,000 hectares of rural land with forestry, farming, commercial and residential tenants as well as around half of Scotland’s coastline with ports, harbours and 5,800 moorings.
He holds a BSc in Agricultural Sciences from the University of Zambia, an MSc in Real Estates Management from Birmingham City University and an Executive MBA in Business Administration from Henley Business School. He is also a member of and APC assessor for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, and a Prince2 practitioner.
Director of Finance and Business Services
Alastair joined Crown Estate Scotland in February 2020 and oversees Finance, HR, IT/GIS, Commercial, Procurement and Business Support.
After graduating from The University of Glasgow with a Bachelor of Accountancy degree, Alastair started his career with KPMG before moving to work in the leisure and restaurant industry. He then moved to the nursing home sector as European Controller for a large US based nursing home group.
After several years in commerce, Alastair started working in the Further and Higher Education sector where he held Vice Principal and Director roles at several institutions throughout the UK.
Alastair is a Fellow Chartered and Certified Accountant (FCCA) and is a board member of the Glasgow Colleges’ Regional Board.
Director of Marine
Colin joined the organisation in October 2018 and leads on the development of offshore renewable energy and aquaculture. His remit also includes carbon capture & storage and cables & pipelines.
Colin’s experience to date includes working in onshore wind development, offshore wind development (as Project Manager for Beatrice Offshore wind farm up until consent in 2014) and most recently as Delivery Director for Kite Power Systems delivering innovative new airborne renewable energy technology.
Colin also worked in oil & gas as Commercial & Development Manager for SSE Exploration & Production. He has degrees in marketing and in engineering project management.
Chair of Crown Estate Scotland
Amanda Bryan is a Chartered Forester with qualifications in marine resource management and electrical and electronic engineering. She is based in the Highlands, near Beauly.
Amanda has extensive experience in rural and community development and stakeholder engagement. She is a board member for Highlands and Islands Enterprise. She has previously served as Forestry Commissioner for Scotland; Chair of the Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust; and as a board member for Community Energy Scotland.
In addition to her public appointments, Amanda is the Executive Director of the Scottish Forestry Trust and a lecturer at the Scottish School of Forestry, Inverness College UHI.
Ann is the CEO of the Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors. Her professional background is in asset management and construction and over the last thirty-five years has worked in a diverse number of organisations, including central government, banking, retail and higher education.
She was Director of Estates at Glasgow University, leading the £1bn capital programme where she received an MBE in recognition for her work in Higher Education. She is a strong advocate for diversity in property and construction.
Ann chairs Crown Estate Scotland’s Investment Committee.
Katerina Brown is a highly experienced finance executive whose expertise lies in analysing and assessing performance, and maximizing the return on assets.
Her sector experience spans a range of asset classes from financial assets, following two decades working in Financial Services in the City of London, to physical assets, thermal and renewable energy, and more recently, in land, buildings and the environment based in Scotland.
She is currently Chief Operating Officer of the National Trust for Scotland.
Michael lives on and works a family croft in Lochaber. He is a retired GP and former Leader of Highland Council.
Over the last 30 years Michael has had wide experience of and direct involvement in agriculture, forestry, aquaculture, renewables, education, community ownership and empowerment in the Highlands & Islands. He chairs the FE Regional Board for the Highlands and Islands. Michael sits on Crown Estate Scotland’s Investment Committee and leads the Board’s engagement on aquaculture.
Liz Leonard has over 30 years’ experience in communications and broadcast media. Her professional career includes being an executive producer at the BBC and serving as a non-executive director at Ofcom, the latter at a time when digital connectivity and convergence required significant changes to communications policy and regulation.
Liz sits on Crown Estate Scotland’s Investment Committee. She was previously Vice Chair & Trustee at the Scottish Refugee Council.
Jean is an HR professional with a background mainly in the Public Sector, and also brings with her a wealth of experience in Change Management, Corporate Affairs and Health & Safety.
She is a board member of Revenue Scotland and a non-legal member of the Employment Tribunal (Scotland).
Jean previously worked with the Forestry Commission across GB and now splits her time between North East Fife and Edinburgh.
Robert spent 25 years as a Business Technology and Consulting partner at Scott-Moncrieff, leading their Corporate and Consulting Services arm. He has always had a passion for improving the excellence of public sector service delivery.
Robert has an in depth understanding of finance, business and audit. He was Head of Audit for multiple organisations and provided training and guidance to Audit Committees and Board members of his clients. Robert was a member of Scott-Moncrieff’s Board for over 15 years and Chair for the last four years before retiring.
He is a non-executive director of Ferguson Marine (Port Glasgow) Limited.
Robert chairs the Audit & Risk Committee.
Euan is an experienced energy, legal and green investment professional. He has experience across both the private and public sectors.
Euan was Chair of the Investment Committee and General Counsel at the UK Green Investment Bank; prior to that, he was a partner and ran the Energy Transactions & Advisory Team at international law firm, Pinsent Masons (where is now Senior Climate Advisor). Euan recently served as General Counsel and an Executive Committee member at Ofgem.
He lives in rural Scotland, near Biggar and is a director of The Biggar Gin Company Limited.
Ailsa Raeburn is Chair of the Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust and Chair of Community Land Scotland.
She works with communities across Scotland to support their development ambitions.
Living in rural Argyll she understands well the opportunities rural Scotland offers as a place to live, work and invest, but also the challenges many communities face in becoming more sustainable and resilient.