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Our people

Key people

Simon Hodge

Simon Hodge

Chief Executive

Simon Hodge joined Crown Estate Scotland as Chief Executive in April 2018. 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.

Originally from Devon, Simon’s previous roles have focussed on natural resource management including policy and research in farming and forestry and eight years as Chief Executive of Forest Enterprise Scotland responsible for Scotland’s National Forest Estate.

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Esther Black

Esther Black

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, stakeholder engagement, policy, HR and governance for Crown Estate Scotland. 

Esther sits on the Board of Children in Scotland.

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Oster Milambo

Oster Milambo

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.

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Alastair Milloy

Alastair Milloy

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.

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Colin Palmer

Colin Palmer

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.

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Andy Wells

Andy Wells

Investment and Sales Programme Director

Andy joined The Crown Estate in 1990, managing our Glenlivet Estate before becoming Head of Countryside Management across the UK, and latterly Director of Property after the creation of Crown Estate Scotland. He took up his current role in September 2021.

He is responsible for critical investment and sale initiatives which are central to the delivery of Crown Estate Scotland's Corporate Plan.

Andy’s work has been recognised with a raft of international and national awards, including an honorary fellowship at the University of Edinburgh.

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Our board

Amanda Bryan

Amanda Bryan

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.

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Ann Allen

Ann Allen

Board Member

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.

Dr Michael Foxley

Dr Michael Foxley

Board Member

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

Liz Leonard

Board Member

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.

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Jean Lindsay

Jean Lindsay

Board Member

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.

Andrew Macdonald

Andrew Macdonald

Board Member

Andrew has extensive experience working in businesses of all sizes in both private and public sectors, internationally and in Scotland. He has served on a number of boards in both executive and non-executive roles, and has a very strong commercial record underpinned by a commitment to safety excellence, robust governance and oversight.

Andrew’s most recent executive role was with Scottish Water where he was responsible for the non-regulated business, commercial land and property portfolio, growth of renewable energy generation and the construction and start-up of water technology and development centres.

Robert Mackenzie

Robert Mackenzie

Board Member

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 McVicar

Euan McVicar

Board Member

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 and prior to that, he was a partner and ran the Energy Transactions & Advisory Team at international law firm, Pinsent Masons. 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.

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Alister Steele MBE

Alister Steele MBE

Board Member

Alister has more than 30 years’ experience in delivering affordable housing and community regeneration and a considerable track record of strategic planning and business leadership. Alister was awarded the MBE in 2014 for services to social housing and regeneration.

Alister chairs Crown Estate Scotland’s Investment Committee and leads Board engagement on commercial and urban matters.