The University of Strathclyde has appointed Mairi Spowage as Professor of Practice and Director of its prestigious Fraser of Allander Institute (FAI). Mairi takes up the role after being Acting Director for the last year.
A former deputy chief executive of the Scottish Fiscal Commission and Head of National Accounts at the Scottish Government, her areas of expertise include economic policy, economic statistics, national accounting, public sector finances and economic and fiscal forecasting.
Professor Spowage leads on the FAI’s work with partners across business, the public and third sector.
She is regularly asked to give evidence on economic and fiscal matters at Parliamentary Committees, and also recently been appointed to be the Budget Adviser to the Finance and Public Administration Committee for 2021-2023 and as an Office for National Statistics (ONS) Fellow and member of the Economic Experts Working Group (EEWG).
Supporting Professor Spowage as Director, and forming the senior team at the FAI, are Dr David Eiser and Emma Congreve, who will act as Deputy Directors, and Dr Stuart McIntyre as Head of Research.
A Mathematics and Statistics graduate of the University of St Andrews, Professor Spowage joined the University of Strathclyde in 2018 as a visiting researcher before becoming Deputy Director in 2019.
Professor Spowage said: “I am absolutely thrilled to be appointed as the permanent Director of the Fraser of Allander Institute.
“The FAI has established itself as the leading economic research unit in Scotland and its expertise is highly respected, sought and utilised across the UK and beyond. Our research shows the power of economics to bring insights to the challenges and opportunities facing society.
“As a key part of the Economics Department, we are proud to work with our colleagues across Strathclyde Business School to ensure that our world-class research has a real-world impact on policymaking.
I’m proud to work with such talented colleagues and very much look forward to growing the FAI and reinforcing the role it plays in informing public discourse on the economy.
The FAI has plans for a significant programme of research over the next few years, including ground-breaking research into child poverty, a five-year research programme as part of the Sussex-led Centre for Inclusive Trade Policy, and continued work with businesses to help them measure their economic, environmental and social impact.
It will also continue its regular commentary on the big economic policy issues of the day, to help inform the topical debates that are happening in the global, UK and Scottish economies.
David Hillier, Associate Principal and Executive Dean of Strathclyde Business School, said: “It gives me great pleasure to announce Mairi as head of the Fraser of Allander Institute after her sterling work over the last year as Acting Director.
“The FAI is a byword in Scotland for economic analysis and with this new team in place, we look forward to the future and its programme of current and future research into such important areas as child poverty and trade policy."