WSET chief executive awarded MBE

2nd January, 2018 by Melita Kiely

The chief executive of the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET), Ian Harris, has been awarded an MBE in the 2018 New Year’s Honours List.


Ian Harris, chief executive of the WSET, has been awarded an MBE

Harris was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in recognition for his services to the wine and spirits industry.

After training as a teacher at university, it was a year in Bordeaux that first ignited Harris’ love for the wine and spirits industry.

He went on to enjoy 10 years working in sales and marketing at Waverley Vintners, before spending the next 15 with the Seagram Spirits and Wine Group in the UK and France.

Harris then brought together his passions for wine, spirits and teaching in 2002 when he joined the WSET as chief executive. During his time at the WSET, annual candidate numbers have soared from 10,000 in 2002 to more than 85,000 in 2017.

The WSET now offers nine qualifications in wine, spirits and sake, across four levels, in 19 different languages and through more than 700 approved programme providers in more than 70 countries.

“It is an incredible honour to be appointed an MBE,” commented Harris. “After 25 years in the mainstream, commercial side of the industry, I have enjoyed the last (and the best) 15 years of my career at the Wine and Spirit Education Trust.

“Education is the foundation for any successful industry and I am privileged to lead an organisation that nurtures future generations of wine and spirits professionals and enthusiasts.

“I am very proud of what the team at WSET have achieved over the past few years and we will continue to work to build a fruitful future for this great industry, which I love.”

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