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    United Kingdom

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Ian Baxter PhD(Cantab), FSAScot, FSA, FRSA, PCIfA

Ian Baxter originally trained as an archaeologist at Edinburgh University, and completed a PhD at the University of Cambridge investigating strategic management within heritage and conservation organisations. He has worked for a number of Universities, including the University of Cambridge as Director of Public & Professional Programmes, Bournemouth University, Glasgow Caledonian University and the University of Suffolk where he was Head of Suffolk Business School from 2012-2015 . At Heriot-Watt University he is a Professor (Historic Environment Management) in the School of Social Sciences (Edinburgh Business School) and splits his time between Edinburgh and Cambridge.  He is a long-standing Affiliated Scholar at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research & Member of the Faculty of Human, Social & Political Science at the University of Cambridge.

He is a Board Director and Vice-Chair of the Built Environment Forum Scotland – the national representative bodies for heritage NGOs and Scotland, and has recently finished a second term as Trustee of The Heritage Alliance (covering England's heritage NGO sector). He is also a Council Member (Trustee) of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and a member of Historic Environment Scotland's Heritage Assets Committee (a sub-committee of the Board).  During the main Covid-19 period he has chaired the Covid Historic Environment Resilience Forum (CHERF) on behalf of BEFS and Historic Environment Scotland.  He is also a member the Institute for Historic Building Conservation's Education, Training & Standards Committee, and has previously served on the National Trust for Scotland’s Economic & Community Development Advisory Panel, English Heritage’s Research Advisory Panel, and the ICOMOS UK Cultural Tourism Committee.

Research interests

  • Policy and strategy development for historic environment sector
  • Knowledege management and exchange in heritage sector
  • Visitor experience management and interpretation at historic sites and monuments
  • Administrative / business histories of heritage organisations 
  • Branding and design in cultural organisations 
  • Cultural resource management
  • Heritage management
  • Archaeology and historic preservation

Key Research Words/Phrases

  • Administrative histories / business history
  • Heritage policy and strategy
  • Guidebooks
  • Heritage signs
  • Tourism
  • Historic preservation
  • Cultural resource management
  • Archaeology
  • Heritage management
  • Knowledge exchange


Roles & Responsibilities

Internal (Heriot-Watt University)

  • Professor - Historic Environment Management (School of Social Sciences / Edinburgh Business School) 
  • Director of Scottish Confucius Institite for Business & Communication
  • Chair of China Strategy Group (Heriot-Watt University)


  • Vice-Chair of Built Environment Forum Scotland (BEFS)
  • External member of Historic Environment Scotland Board's Heritage Assets Committee
  • Council Member (Trustee) of Society of Antiquaries of Scotland
  • Co-Chair of Skills, Education & Engagement Advocacy Group, The Heritage Alliance
  • Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC) - Education, Training & Standards Committee Member
  • RSA Fellows' Media, Creative Industries & Cultural Heritage Network - steering group member
  • Scottish Graduate School for Arts & Humanities, Cultural & Museum Studies Discipline+ Catalyst.
  • Historic Houses Association Learning Advisory Service Panel Member


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production

External positions

Professor, Tianjin University of Finance and Economics

1 Dec 2017 → …

Faculty of Human, Social & Political Sciences, University of Cambridge

Apr 2011 → …

McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge

Apr 2011 → …

Built Environment Forum Scotland

Historic Houses Association

Fellow, Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce

Fellow, Society of Antiquaries (London)

Fellow, Society of Antiquaries of Scotland

The Heritage Alliance

Professor, University of Suffolk


  • AM Museums (General). Collectors and collecting (General)
  • museum
  • heritage
  • historic preservation
  • cultural resource management
  • CC Archaeology
  • GV Recreation Leisure
  • Tourism
  • attractions
  • H Social Sciences (General)
  • management
  • strategy


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