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Kate Richards



Katherine Richards, RCVS Council Member

Kate Richards qualified from Edinburgh. A farm vet for 15 years, she was partner in a 15-vet practice. She joined a major pharmaceutical company to gain further experience of business management, marketing and sales, working with practices across the UK.

Kate joined Defra as a veterinary advisor and promoted into non-veterinary Senior Civil Service roles in several Whitehall departments including the Cabinet Office, HMRC and the Ministry of Justice. She was Principal Private Secretary to three Secretaries of State for Scotland, handling a diverse policy portfolio, working across Whitehall, No.10 and the Devolved Administrations and has a deep understanding of how Whitehall operates.

Kate is a Non-Executive Director on the Boards of the Moredun Foundation and SRUC's SAC Commercial Ltd where she brings experience of the veterinary sector and senior executive roles in the Civil Service.

Kate enjoys writing and gained an MA in Creative & Life Writing in 2019.

Council Member category

  • Elected: 2015 - 2019, 2020 - 2024

Committee membership

  • Advancement of the Professions Committee
  • Finance and Resources Committee
  • Specialist Recognition and Advanced Practitioner Appeals Committee
  • Federation of Veterinarians of Europe
  • Council Culture Working Group
  • Mind Matters Initiative Taskforce
  • PIC/DC Liaison Committee 
  • Certification Subcommittee

Declaration of interests


  • Non-Executive Director, Moredun Foundation Board
  • Non-Executive Director, SRUC (Scotland's Rural College) SAC Commercial Board

Relevant financial interests, eg shareholdings, bonds and derivatives

Financial Portfolio managed by Carbon Financial

Has undertaken government-funded Official Veterinarian (OV) training (Jan 2021)


  • Veterinary Advisor on mental health research project for SRUC

Appointments to other bodies

Veterinary School Short Term Working Group, SRUC: May 2021 - present

Food Standards Scotland - Board member (commencing 1 April 2023)

Membership of other veterinary or allied organisations

  • Member, British Veterinary Association (BVA)
  • Member and Council, Association of Government Vets (AGV)
  • Member, Veterinary Public Health Association (VPHA)


  • G. C. Rafferty, Grantown-on-Spey 1985 - 1986
  • Ardene House Veterinary Practice 1986 - 2000
  • Schering-Plough Animal Health 2000 - 2003
  • Defra 2003 - 2007
  • HMRC 2007 - 2009
  • Scotland Office 2009 - 2012
  • Cabinet Office 2012
  • Ministry of Justice 2012 - 2014
  • Non-Executive Directorships - 2012 - present

Qualifications (other than veterinary qualifications listed in the Register)

  • BVM&S, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh
  • Official Veterinary Surgeon (OV), Bristol University
  • Diploma in Marketing
  • Veterinary Public Health Certificate, Royal Veterinary College, University of London
  • MA in Creative and Life Writing, Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Official Controls Qualification (Veterinary) ES, EX, PX

Interests relating to immediate family or close friends


Other relevant information

Kate Richards worked as Principal Private Secretary to three Secretaries of State for Scotland (2009-2012). This was an appointment as a senior civil servant, it was not a political appointment.