This afternoon, the chief ombudsman and CEO of Ombudsman Services has announced his move. After ten years spent at Ombudsman Services, Lewis Shand Smith has decided it is time to move on.
This morning I announced to my colleagues at Ombudsman Services that I will move on by the end of December. By then I will have completed ten years with the company – a quarter of my working life. I’ve been so fortunate in what I have been able to do with my life: rector, council leader/politician, ombudsman – working in both the public and private sectors. Fortunate too that in each sphere I’ve been able to support others and, hopefully, from time to time make life a little bit better for some. Yes I’ve made many mistakes and, again hopefully, I’ve learned from them. It’s almost 40 years since I was ordained priest. One of my mentors was the late Bishop Alistair Haggart of Edinburgh. When I was a student I heard him say: “on my gravestone I want the words ‘This man grew until he died’”. I don’t know whether he got the inscription but he certainly did grow spiritually, intellectually and emotionally. Alistair’s words have stayed with me, and have continuously challenged me, today more than ever. There is still so much learning and growing that I have to do, new challenges, new opportunities. Big changes are always nerve-racking but wow they are also exciting – bring on career number four!
Lewis was appointed Chief Executive and Chief Ombudsman of the Ombudsman Service Ltd in 2009. That followed five years as deputy ombudsman with the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman – a Crown appointment.
From 1990-1999 Lewis was a member of Shetland Islands Council and Convener/Leader from 1994-1999. He is a former Vice-President of the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, was a member of the Executive of the Scottish Constitutional Convention and represented the UK on the European Committee of the Regions. He has served as a non-executive director or trustee on a number of companies and organisations.
Lewis is a priest of the Scottish Episcopal Church and was Rector of St Magnus in Lerwick, St. John the Evangelist, Dumfries and was a canon of St Andrews Cathedral, Aberdeen from 1993-2000. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
With this announcement, three questions come to mind:
- What is the next career step for Lewis?
- Who will take over his role?
- How will this affect Ombudsman Services?
Time will tell, but we will make sure to let you know as soon as we find out!
We’ve just found out that Matthew Vickers is the new CEO designate at Ombudsman Services. That answers the question #2.