Head of Obesity Action Scotland

The Role

  • To lead a health-focused unit hosted in a Medical Royal College that aims to change the way Scotland tackles obesity prevention and healthy food policy.
  • To challenge the understanding of a healthy diet, obesity (and what a healthy weight looks like) and associated risks with key groups, decision makers and individuals in public policy, media, health and beyond
  • To identify and challenge the public and private sector interests that directly shape the obesogenic
    environment to identify and influence action required.
  • To shape the political and policy agenda through direct engagement with senior decision-takers to
    enable the change needed to deliver population health measures.
  • To develop and inspire a successful, engaged team that can deliver agreed aspirations.
  • In conjunction with and as directed by the Steering Group, to lead, develop and monitor programmes of work, overseeing delivery and ensuring that programmes are evidence-based, outcome-focused, fully aligned with strategic priorities, seeking to promote a healthy diet and thus change the prevalence and profile of overweight and obesity in Scotland.

About You – Knowledge, Experience and Skill Set Required


  • Educated to degree level or equivalent in a relevant subject;
  •  Successful leadership experience in a specific subject of public interest, influencing policy
  • Excellent networking, communication, influencing and stakeholder management skills;
  • Understanding of the relationship between determinants of health, food and drink, nutrition
    and commercial factors;
  • Excellent written communications and experience of report writing;
  • Confident, strategic thinker and problem solver with the ability to analyse complex issues and
    offer a choice of solutions;
  • Ability to operate at a strategic level able to articulate the organisation’s vision and direction as
    well as giving support at operational level to achieve objectives and outcomes;
  • Ability to manage the interface between the external environment and internal operation, to
    gather critical intelligence and be accountable for outcomes;
  • Ability to develop, manage and execute effective public affairs and communications strategies;
  • Ability to undertake financial planning and identify and respond to income generating
  • Strong ethical sense in conducting relationships between stakeholders in the health sector and
    food industry;
  • High level understanding of the use of research and evidence in shaping, influencing and
    developing policy and practice;
  • Demonstrable experience in overseeing the development and delivery of programmes that
    influence policy, and communication strategies; relationship building and ability to articulate
    key messages and outcomes;
  • Knowledge of how people learn and ability to design and facilitate dynamic learning


  • Previous work in a public health field;
  • Previous experience in food policy or nutrition related subject area;
  • Previous work in engaging with media and communications;
  • Awareness of human rights, equality and inclusion issues as they affect people who experience
  • Knowledge of the healthy food and anti-obesity policy context in Scotland and awareness of the
    UK, European and international context.

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