John Elvidge

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Sir John Elvidge

John Elvidge.jpg
Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Government
In office
July 2003 – June 2010
First MinisterJack McConnell
Alex Salmond
Preceded bySir Muir Russell
Succeeded bySir Peter Housden
Personal details
Born (1951-02-09) 9 February 1951 (age 68)
London, England
Spouse(s)Maureen Margaret Ann McGinn
Alma materSt Catherine's College, Oxford
OccupationCivil Servant

Sir John William Elvidge KCB, FRSE (born 9 February 1951) is the former Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Government. He was appointed in July 2003, replacing Sir Muir Russell. He retired from the post in June 2010.

Early life[edit]

He was born on 9 February 1951, son of Herbert William Elvidge and Irene Teresa Reynolds, and educated at Sir George Monoux School in Walthamstow, North- East London.[1] He studied English language and literature at St Catherine's College, Oxford, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree.[1][2] In 1973, he joined the Civil Service, working in the Scottish Office.

Civil service[edit]

While at the Scottish Office, Elvidge worked particularly in the fields of economic development, physical infrastructure and European Union relations.[2] He was seconded to Scottish Homes, from 1988 to 1989, and to the Cabinet Office, from 1998 to 1999, where he was involved in co-ordination of the Government's legislative programme and social policies.[2] In May 1999, He was appointed Head of the Scottish Government Education Department, and in March 2002 became Head of the Finance and Central Services Department.[1][2] In 2003, he became Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Government, succeeding Sir Muir Russell, who became Principal of the University of Glasgow.[3] Elvidge was created a Knight Commander of the Bath (KCB) in the 2006 Birthday Honours.[3] He announced his retirement on 21 May 2010, to take effect in June, to enable his successor to prepare for the Scottish Parliament elections in May 2011.

Appointment as chairman of Edinburgh Airport[edit]

In May 2012 it was announced that Sir John had been appointed by Global Infrastructure Partners as chairman of Edinburgh Airport. The appointment will be effective from 1 June 2012, following completion of Global Infrastructure Partners' £807.2 million acquisition of the airport from BAA.[4]

Honours and awards[edit]

Sir John was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2009.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Sir John is married to Maureen McGinn (Lady Elvidge) who is a member of the Scotland Committee of the Big Lottery, chair of the Board of ASH Scotland, and was chief executive of the Laidlaw Youth Trust which funded effective interventions supporting children and vulnerable young people in Scotland.

His interests include painting, film, theatre, music, modern novels, sport, the arts and food and wine.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d "ELVIDGE, Sir John (William)". Who's Who. Oxford University Press. December 2008. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d "Sir John Elvidge, Permanent Secretary". Scottish Government. 24 July 2008. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
  3. ^ a b "Top civil servant knighted". The Scotsman. 17 June 2006. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
  4. ^ "Former civil servant Sir John Elvidge in Edinburgh Airport role"
  5. ^ "Sir John William Elvidge KCB FRSE" (Press release). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. Retrieved 2018-03-14.

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Sir Muir Russell
Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Government
Succeeded by
Sir Peter Housden