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Director of Engagement

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Background

Owen Kelly, OBE, has extensive experience of working in government and in the private sector. From 2008 to 2016 he was Chief Executive of Scottish Financial Enterprise, the representative body for Scotland's financial services industry. He has contributed regularly to public debate on many aspects of economics and politics.

Before that, he worked for 20 years as a civil servant in the UK and Scottish Governments. When he left in 2008, he was Director of Communications and International at the Scottish Government. He served as Principal Private Secretary to the First Minister of Scotland and as Private Secretary to a UK government Minister. His policy specialisms were EU and international affairs and communications.

He holds an honours degree in Chinese (1986) and a Diploma in Social and Public Policy (1998), both from the University of Edinburgh.

He is a Doctoral Researcher in the Department of Philosophy, also at Edinburgh University, examining how ancient ethical ideas can be applied to modern business practice. He has written a number of commentaries on referenda and their effects on business, and on the impact of the UK's departure from the European Union on financial services.

He is a trustee of the David Hume Institute, the Historic Scotland Foundation, the McConnell International Foundation and Citizens' Advice Edinburgh.

He is an Honorary Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers.

He was awarded an OBE (Officer of the British Empire) in the New Year's Honours List in 2014.

Research Interests

The morality of decision making amongst businesses and other actors in a market economy; Brexit; financial services.

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