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Senior lawyer takes chief executive role at largest council in Scotland

Scotland's largest local authority, Glasgow City Council, has named its most senior lawyer, Annemarie O’Donnell, as its next chief executive.

O'Donnell, who will replace George Black on his retirement next month, has been Glasgow’s Executive Director of Corporate Services since 2011.

In that role she has had responsibility for legal services, elections, human resources, procurement, city resilience, customer and business support and corporate governance.

O’Donnell joined Glasgow District Council from private practice in 1991. Following local government reorganisation in 1996, she was promoted to Chief Solicitor.

She has since held a number of roles including Assistant Head of Legal and Administrative Services, Depute Director of Social Work Services (on a two-year secondment), and Assistant Director and Head of External Governance.

O’Donnell carried out the latter role at the time the city council established its arms-length organisations (ALEOs).

She was chosen to become the new chief executive by the authority’s Appointment of Senior Officers Committee.

Cllr Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: "The quality of candidates was exceptionally high but Annemarie brings a wealth of experience, passion and vision to the role and was the unanimous choice of the interview panel.

"There has never been a more exciting time to work in Glasgow, with the city in the spotlight like never before following the best ever Commonwealth Games and the signing of Scotland's first City Deal. I am in no doubt that Annemarie is the best possible choice to lead our dedicated and talented staff through the next chapter in our city's long and proud history.”

O’Donnell said: "I am delighted and humbled to have been appointed. This is a really exciting time for Glasgow. There is no doubt the next few years will be challenging for everyone in local government. But I believe we have the energy, the ideas and, crucially, the best people to meet those challenges."