Lord Iain Vallance, the former BT chairman and CEO who has served on the boards of some of the world’s largest companies, including RBS, the Mobil Corporation and Siemens, has been appointed Chair of Edinburgh Business School, at Heriot-Watt University.

The University’s appointment of Lord Valance is an acknowledgement of the importance of the link between employers and business schools.

Lord Vallance brings not only immediate past experience of chairing a successful Scottish higher education institution, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, which joined the top half dozen QS rated performing arts institutions in the world during his decade of stewardship, but business school experience and strong industry links.

His appointment as Chair reinforces and complements the appointment of Professor Heather McGregor CBE, a former investment banker and entrepreneur, as Executive Dean of the School.

Professor Richard Williams OBE, Principal and Vice Chancellor of Heriot-Watt University, said "Together, Lord Vallance and Professor McGregor represent what must be one of the strongest line-ups of business leaders anywhere in the UK at the helm of a business school, equipping it to deliver transformative education across the world.”

Under the Chair of Lord Vallance and leadership of Professor McGregor, Edinburgh Business School has committed to educating tomorrow’s business leaders in tomorrow’s markets, and to providing management education that is both accessible and flexible, building on the legacy of the last 25 years.

Professor McGregor was a founding member of the steering committee of the 30% Club, a campaign group that seeks to raise the proportion of women on company boards and in senior positions, which she helped to launch in 2010. Following her appointment, it is the intention of Edinburgh Business School to offer scholarships to increasing numbers of women around the world.

Edinburgh Business School serves 12,000 current students in 166 countries and is one of the UK’s, and Scotland’s, most significant export businesses, having twice won the Queens Award for Export. Over 20,000 students have graduated from EBS since it was set up in 1992, and the majority of its students are based in the world’s developing economies.