Stuart has more than 20 years experience as an economic development professional in the Highlands, initially with HIE and more recently as executive chief officer for transformation and economy with The Highland Council.
He has played a key role in a wide range of developments across the Highlands and Islands, working closely with public and private sector stakeholders and recently led the £315 million Inverness and Highland City-Region deal.
Originally from Inverness, Stuart studied geography at the University of Edinburgh, followed by doctorate in town and regional planning at the University of Glasgow. He started his career as a lecturer in land economy at the University of Aberdeen.
Commenting on his new role, he said:
“I am delighted to be taking up this role, leading the Moray team, particularly at a time where there are significant opportunities, including those arising from the Moray Growth Deal and significant investment in the area by the Ministry of Defence and Boeing.
“The area has many global brands helping drive the economy, from whisky, food and drink, textiles and engineering, there are significant opportunities for growth and innovation in all these sectors.
“There are also challenges of course, including uncertainties over Brexit and attracting new talent to the area to ensure that businesses will have access to the skills they need for the future.
“I look forward to working with the team and our partners, particularly Moray Council. Collaboration is the most effective means of strengthening the economy and community resilience of the Moray area.”