The conference keynote speaker for Wednesday 22nd June will be Ian Houston, President of the Scottish Business Network (SBN) US.
Ian Houston currently serves as President of the Scottish Business Network (SBN) US and as Ambassador in Washington, DC. He focuses on promoting Scottish business, trade, industry, culture, and universities in the U.S. He is also the Director of Clydebuilt International which supports charitable organizations, businesses, and universities. He has developed a series of conversations through Clydebuilt with former US secretaries of state, senators, ambassadors, CEOs, and academics focused on leadership, education, and the value of cooperation.
He also served as Chair of the Development Committee of the DACOR Bacon House, an historic home in Washington, DC owned by DACOR, an association of foreign affairs and diplomatic professionals, and currently serves on the board of the Robert Burns Ellisland Farm near Dumfries, Scotland.
Houston, served for 12 years as the Executive Director and Legislative (Parliamentary) Director of the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA). He represented the views of diplomats, trade and humanitarian professionals, and ambassadors as the senior operational director at AFSA. He has deep experience with foreign policy, trade, and international development. For many years prior to AFSA, he held senior advocacy positions with a coalition of international humanitarian groups called InterAction, and other non-profit humanitarian groups. Prior to that he served as a Legislative Director and policy advisor in the U.S. Congress.
He has also dedicated time to teaching college courses in public policy and international affairs, and volunteering in a variety of capacities in his local community.
Houston holds a MA degree in International Relations from the University of Kent in Canterbury, England and a BA in Political Science from Brigham Young University. He is a recipient of a Harry S. Truman Presidential Library Scholarship, Institute of World Affairs Scholarship, and received a commendation medal for public service from California’s Governor.
He also writes monthly columns for Herald Scotland and Voice newspapers across Cornwall, and contributes to Daily Business Magazine. He has appeared on BBC Radio Scotland several times.