Ian Smith

Ian Smith

Head of Corporate Relations, Diageo / Keeper of The Quaich

Ian Smith is Head of Corporate Relations, Scotland for Diageo, the world’s leading Scotch whisky company, joining in 2010 with responsibility for the company’s corporate reputation in Scotland and the reputation of its Scotch whisky portfolio.


Ian is responsible for managing Diageo’s relationship with the Scotch Whisky Association and sits on the SWA Government Affairs Committee.


He is also official Royal Warrant Holders Association Addressee for Diageo’s five Royal Warrant Holding companies: John Walker & Sons; Tanqueray & Gordon; Pimm’s; Justerini & Brooks; Royal Lochnagar.


Ian was inducted as a Keeper of the Quaich (the international society devoted to celebrating Scotch whisky) in recognition of his work on behalf of the Scotch whisky industry in 2017 and in 2022 took on the role of Chair of the Management Committee of Keepers of the Quaich, with responsibility for running the Keepers organisation and hosting its biannual banquets at Blair Castle.


He is a non-Executive Director on the board of the Scotch Whisky Experience (the Scotch whisky industry-owned visitor experience in Edinburgh), and a non-Executive Director of Scottish Golf (the governing body for the game of golf in Scotland, the home of golf).


Before joining Diageo Ian worked for Royal Mail Group (the British postal service), where he was also responsible for media and stakeholder relations.


Before going into corporate affairs, Ian was a prominent Scottish journalist covering news for Scotland’s two leading quality newspapers The Herald and The Scotsman, before becoming a political editor for the Daily Record and then the Daily Mail, covering Scottish, UK and world events at both the Westminster and Scottish parliaments.