Meet the team

Meet the team

The Scottish Rural Network is supported by a small team in the Scottish Government called the Network Support Unit. Find out more about the members of the team and their roles below.

Alan Robertson
Scottish Rural Network Manager

I have worked in the Scottish Government (SG) since 2009, starting in the agency Disclosure Scotland and then moving into core SG.  I worked across Justice and Public Health Directorates (“Diet” Officer if you can believe that) until obtaining my current post as Network Manager within the Scottish Rural Network.

Prior to joining Scottish Government, I worked in the public and the private sector within a variety of roles. Taking a career break, I returned to education as a ”mature” student completing an HND in furniture making and design - just in time for the financial crash of 2008/9!  This led me into SG (as jobs for apprentice 40 something furniture makers were thin on the ground at this point).

In my free time I like exploring the Perthshire countryside (where I live), buying and listening to music (much to my wife’s annoyance) and seeking the perfect pint of IPA.

Hannah Downey
Communications and Content Officer

After graduating in Environmental Geography and a few years of working and volunteering in Stirlingshire, I first joined Scottish Government as a laboratory assistant with Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture in 2017. In June 2018 I started with the Scottish Rural Network as a Communications and Events Support Officer and have since moved into my current role as the SRNs Communications and Content Officer.

My current responsibilities include managing the SRN website and social media channels to engage stakeholders and promote best practice in rural development, and collating the weekly SRN newsletter. I also produce digital content for distribution across SRNs channels, and as the SRN media contact I coordinate press releases and responses to media enquiries.

In my free time you can mostly find me hanging out with my dog, Douglas. We love exploring all that Scotland’s great outdoors has to offer!

Katharine Johnston
Stakeholder Engagement & Business Officer

I joined the Scottish Government in 2007 and spent nearly 13 years working in various teams within the Crofting Commission. At the end of November 2019 I joined the Scottish Rural Network (SRN) - just in time for the Christmas party! 

My role within the team includes the organisation and facilitation of events involving the SRN. I also support the team by coordinating and managing SRN’s programme of case studies and contributing content for the SRN’s website and newsletter. 

I live in the Black Isle just north of Inverness with my husband and kids and our cat and dog. In my younger years I was a long-term committee member of my local Young Farmers Club which has resulted in a love of agricultural shows.