Director General, Net Zero

The Scottish Government

Edinburgh with regular travel across Scotland and to London

  • Location

    Edinburgh with regular travel across Scotland and to London

  • Job type


  • Sector

    Central Government

  • Salary/Remuneration

    Senior Civil Service (SCS) Pay Band 3; starting salary c.£122,605

  • Job ref


  • Expiry date

    02 August 2021

  • Client

    The Scottish Government

Ref: GSe75757

Scottish Government is at the centre of Scotland’s network of public services and institutions, working to make Scotland a more successful country and a better place to live.  We are responsible for over £40 billion of expenditure each year.  This provides the public services used every day by the citizens of Scotland including health, education, justice, housing and social security. Working with the Parliament, partners, communities and citizens the core focus of our work is to create a more successful country; to give opportunities to and increase the wellbeing of all people living in Scotland; to create sustainable and inclusive growth; and to reduce inequalities and give equal importance to economic, environmental and social progress. We are at a critical stage of this journey, as attention turns from crisis to recovery and a new vision that seeks to transform the Scottish Government into an organisation that is citizen focussed, digital-first in its approach, and one that continually learns.

Scotland has set challenging targets to achieve net zero by 2045 and is leading the way in putting natural capital at the heart of land and marine use. The role of our Director General Net Zero is an outstanding opportunity: the chance to join the top leadership team of Scottish Government and lead core public policy and services at a time of unprecedented challenge, as we recover and renew in response to the COVID pandemic. This role will forge and deliver a coherent, joined-up strategy and subsequent outcomes which bring a just transition of the economy to the realisation of our net zero goal. Reporting directly to the Permanent Secretary, you will lead four directorates totalling 2300 people, in addition to three executive agencies representing a further 1700 staff, and be responsible for an annual budget of c.£5.4bn. Providing trusted advice to Ministers on all areas of Scotland’s net zero agenda is at the heart of this role, as is the need to work with stakeholders both within and outwith government to build strong relationships and identify areas of collaboration to lead the legislative, regulatory and behavioural change required to achieve success. As a member of the Executive Team, you will also provide leadership to, and be a role model for, cross-organisational aims and development. This new role is pivotal to creating a more successful country with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish through increased wellbeing and sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

You will be a collaborative and inclusive leader able to demonstrate relevant experience as a senior leader with a track record of developing impactful strategy and delivering organisational change. You will bring an understanding of how environmental and economic factors interplay with the influencing and relationship management skills required to credibly work with partners at all levels across a range of sectors. As a trusted adviser to Ministers, you will bring to this role significant political astuteness, albeit this does not mean you need to have worked within government before. You will have the ability to imagine and deliver creative solutions to complex problems alongside the passion, drive and commitment to have a lasting impact on the citizens of Scotland.

GatenbySanderson is acting as an employment agency advisor to the Scottish Government on this appointment. 

We welcome applications from all suitably qualified people and aim to employ a diverse workforce, which reflects the people of Scotland.

Recruitment Timetable

Closing date
30 July at midnight

Short listing
wc 16 August

Late August

Final panel
wc 06 September

How to apply

To apply for this post, you will need to submit the following documentation no later than midnight on 30 July 2021.

  1. CV setting out your career history, with key responsibilities and achievements. Please ensure you have provided reasons for any gaps within the last two years;
  2. Statement of Suitability (no longer than two pages) explaining how you consider your personal skills, qualities and experience provide evidence of your suitability for the role, with particular reference to the criteria in the person specification;
  3. A completed Diversity Monitoring Form. All monitoring data will be treated in the strictest confidence, will not be provided to the selection panel and will not affect your application in any way. The completion of the Diversity Monitoring Form is mandatory but it includes the option ‘prefer not to say’.

Failure to submit these documents will mean the panel only have limited information on which to assess your application against the criteria in the person specification. 

If you are unable to apply online, please contact in the first instance.

For more information or for an informal discussion, please contact: Michael Dobson, Matt Malone or Olivia Robinson on 07964 826 291.