Covid-19 is the new normal.

If your organisation needs radical change to meet its rapidly shifting challenges, James can help.

Formerly Head of the Scottish Government Resilient Essential Services & Communities Unit, he now guides and supports organisations in making and managing strategic plans. His expertise includes:

  • Transformational change

  • Emergency planning

  • Setting strategy and vision

  • Building effective teams

  • Developing physical resilience

  • Security

  • Debriefing events

  • Vetting levels

  • Overseeing the roll-out of a new programme

  • Critical national infrastructure security and resilience.

James Urquhart


James brings decades of senior-level experience to his role as Foresee’s Strategic Planning Adviser.


His expertise in strategic planning and transformational change will especially benefit organisations rapidly adapting to a world reshaped by pandemic.

Previously, he was Head of the Scottish Government Resilient Essential Services & Communities Unit. Leading a team of specialists on an ambitious critical-infrastructure resilience (CIR) programme across all of Scotland’s critical sectors, he oversaw major advances in the nation’s resilience.


Before joining the Scottish Government staff, James enjoyed a 30-year police career and became recognised as a national specialist on critical national infrastructure (CNI) security and resilience.


It was while he was in Grampian Force’s operational planning department, responsible for policing onshore and offshore oil and gas assets, that counter-terrorism became a core strategic concern in national defence planning – displacing the emphasis on preparedness for the all-out military attack anticipated during the Cold War. Set in motion largely by 9/11, it was a paradigm shift, calling for wide-scale organisational change.


By 2004, as a Superintendent, James was overseeing counter-terrorism protective security; CNI resilience; policing of all oil and gas installations in Scottish waters; royalty and VIP protection; and force emergency planning.

The role saw him responsible for all aspects of multi-agency planning and response around the numerous energy CNI assets in Grampian. It meant engaging in strategic planning and policy development for these sites at local, Scottish and UK government level.


At the invitation of the Scottish Government, James became Scottish CNI Programme Manager in 2009. The next 11 years would see him playing a leading role in an ambitious CIR programme across all Scotland’s critical sectors.


His initial mission – a national strategy for CNI – was accomplished in two years (Secure and Resilient – A Strategic Framework for CNI in Scotland). The UK’s first-ever CNI strategy, it involved creating national and local CNI partnerships as well as a performance framework for coordinating multi-agency and multi-level CNI security and resilience.

In 2012, James took up the civilian post of Head of the Scottish Government Critical Infrastructure Resilience Unit. He then was promoted to lead three teams focusing on CIR; community resilience; and regional resilience partnerships. His cutting-edge work with the Unit continued until he retired in 2019.


James has a Law degree from Aberdeen University (1993) and is a graduate of the North Atlantic Leadership in Counter Terrorism programme (2005).


He is also a key member of the Critical Infrastructure Resilience International Network (CIRINT.NET), where Scotland, Holland and Italy currently lead on the development of local and regional CIR approaches in Europe.



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Company Number SC 35529

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