He will lead public affairs and communications at the organisation, which represents the UK and Scotland’s top food export.
Macdonell has covered Scottish politics for The Times and has covered the Scottish Parliament since its inception for various titles. He has also worked as a political journalist at Westminster. He brings a wealth of engagement experience that will, according to the SSPO, “be crucial as the industry continues to build its global reputation for excellence”.
Macdonell, who’s a keen angler and lives in the Borders, said: "I’m thrilled to be joining the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation at such an exciting time for the sector. Scottish salmon is already one of the country's most well-known and valuable exports and I am looking forward to playing my part in helping the industry cement its already excellent reputation for sustainability and high-quality produce."
Julie Hesketh-Laird, SSPO chief executive, added: "I am delighted to bring Hamish on board to bolster the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation's strategic engagement. Hamish is one of Scotland's most respected political journalists and brings significant experience in public and stakeholder engagement.
"The Scottish salmon farming industry is a source of great pride for Scotland and is highly valued in our 60-plus markets across the world. He will strengthen the SSPO’s expertise at a busy time as we continue to grow the reputation of Scottish salmon and shine a light on industry good practices and achievements."