Scottish Government Special Advisers

Special Advisers provide advice to the First Minister, Cabinet Secretaries and Ministers across all portfolio areas in the Scottish Government.




Geoff Aberdein

  • Chief of Staff
  • Responsible for the First Minister's strategic programme in Government
  • First Minister’s senior intermediary with key internal & external stakeholders
  • Coordination of the Special Adviser team
  • Policy support on Commonwealth Games & Sport portfolio


Stuart Nicolson

  • Head of Communications
  • Senior Political Spokesperson

Noel Dolan

  • Senior Special Adviser to the Deputy First Minister
  • Policy advice on Infrastructure & Investment portfolio
  • Policy advice on Welfare

Liz Lloyd

  • Senior Special Adviser Finance (Policy and Communications)
  • Constitution Communications

Alexander Anderson

  • Support to the First Minister’s Private Office
  • Contributing to FM’s keynote speeches and new media
  • Policy advice on Culture and External Affairs

Malcolm Fleming

  • Policy advice on Energy, Rural Affairs and the Environment portfolios
  • Policy advice on International Development portfolio

John MacInnes

  • Lead on political research
  • Support for First Minister’s Questions
  • Support to the Communications Special Advisers
Campbell Gunn
  • Senior Special Adviser and Political Spokesperson

Ewan Crawford

  • Senior Special Adviser supporting Ministers on Government Strategy and Constitutional Issues
Ross Inberbrigtsen
  • Communications Special Adviser

Colin McAllister

  • Head of Policy Development
  • Education & Lifelong Learning portfolio overview

David Hutchison

  • Policy advice on the Health & Wellbeing portfolio
  • Lead on FOI legislation
  • Policy Advice on Broadcasting

John McFarlane

  • Policy advice on Justice portfolio
  • Policy advice on Parliamentary Business portfolio, including engaging with Parliamentary Liaison Officers

Delancy Johansson

  • Transport and Cross-portfolio Special Adviser reporting to Head of Policy