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Wine & Spirit Education Trust announces new senior appointments

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The Wine & Spirit Education Trust and its flagship Approved Programme Provider (APP), WSET School London, have announced several senior appointments for the new academic year.


Matthew Forster MW, DipWSET, who recently became the fourth WSET staff member to achieve the prestigious accolade of Master of Wine, has been promoted to Director of WSET Awards, the awarding body division of WSET. He is responsible for managing the creation, processing and certification of WSET qualifications and is the main point of contact for the UK regulatory authorities.

Before embarking on his wine career with Berry Bros. & Rudd, Matthew studied modern languages at Cambridge University and practised as a lawyer. He joined WSET as Deputy Chief Examiner in 2014, a role in which he is succeeded by Tom Cherry.

Karen Douglas DipWSET, as Director of Education for WSET, was responsible for WSET School London. Many will know her from attending the WSET Educator Programme or recent Level 3 in Wine workshops, where Karen’s 32 years’ experience in the education sector has been put to good use.

Karen will now be moving to a new role as Global Director of Education at WSET where she will have responsibility for the development and maintenance of WSET qualification content, the student and teaching materials, educator training and translations. The global education team will include a product development team for wine managed by Victoria Burt MW, a product development team for spirits managed by Nick King DipWSET and a translation team managed by Sara Hobday. The global education team have a busy and exciting time ahead making sure WSET’s courses remain best-in-class.

Following Karen’s new position, Jim Gore DipWSET has been promoted to the newly created position of Principal of WSET School London, WSET’s flagship APP. Jim studied Microbiology at Edinburgh University where he started working at Oddbins. With 14 years of experience in the wine trade under his belt and three years in a pivotal role as a Programme Manager and Tutor at WSET School London, he will take up his new position while continuing his studies in the Master of Wine programme.

Jim’s new role will see him lead WSET School London with full control of the management and maintenance of education quality.

Tony Cook, Head of I.T. at WSET, has been promoted to I.T. Director and will be a member of the Senior Management Group. Tony joined WSET in May 2016 from his previous role as the Head of Information Services at The Bar Council, which provides representational and regulatory services to Barristers of England and Wales. His new role sees him responsible for developing and implementing the WSET I.T. strategy to ensure that the department provides first class services that augment and future-proof the WSET as it continues to grow.

All of these commendable new senior appointments are a reflection of the outstanding work these members of the WSET and WSET School London teams have achieved in their time with us so far. They will be fundamental to WSET and its programme providers as we continue to see strong growth and international expansion.

Ian Harris, WSET Chief Executive