Keith James Brown (born 20 December 1961) is a Scottish politician and former Royal Marine who has been the Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities since 2014. As a member of the Scottish National Party (SNP), he was elected to the Scottish Parliament to represent the Ochil constituency at the 2007 election. In the 2011 election, Brown won re-election to the Scottish Parliament, representing the newly created Clackmannanshire and Dunblane constituency.
Born in Edinburgh, Brown attended Tynecastle High School in the city, before joining the Royal Marines and serving in the Falklands War. Upon leaving the Marines he attended the University of Dundee where he joined the SNP, graduating in Politics in 1988. He then went to work in local government administration.
He was the SNP candidate for the European Parliament for Lothians constituency in 1994, coming second with 53,324 votes. Brown was then elected to represent Alva on Clackmannanshire Council in a by-election in 1996. He became group leader in 1997, and then Leader of the Council after the SNP took control of Clackmannanshire in the 2003 elections.
Brown was elected to the Scottish Parliament by Ochil constituency at the 2007 elections, increasing both absolute SNP vote and majority.
He was appointed to be Convener of both the Parliament's Standards & Public Appointments Committee and Procedures Committee, and after overseeing their merger now convenes the new Standards, Procedures & Public Appointments Committee.
In his maiden speech on the abolition of bridge tolls he declared that he still had an outstanding fine from the Skye Bridge protests of 1994. He has been an opponent of the proposals for an overhead electricity line from Beauly to Denny, arguing for an underground alternative. Brown has also been campaigning for Scotland football matches to be available on terrestrial television.
In the first reshuffle of the SNP Government in 2009, Brown was appointed Minister for Schools and Skills. In December 2010, he was appointed as Minister for Transport in the Scottish government, a post he held until he was promoted to the Cabinet as Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities in Nicola Sturgeon's first reshuffle in November 2014.
Following defeat in the Scottish independence referendum, 2014, Scottish National Party leader and First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond announced his resignation as SNP leader and First Minister of Scotland. In the aftermath of his resignation, a leadership bid was launched, and current Deputy First Minister of Scotland and SNP Depute leader Nicola Sturgeon is widely tipped to become Salmond's successor.
On September 25, 2014, Brown officially launched his bid to become the Depute leader of the Scottish National Party, with the backing of several SNP MSPs, as well as several Scottish Government ministers. The results of the election were announced at the SNP Autumn Conference on the 14 November, with Brown losing the contest to Stewart Hosie, with 45.5% of the vote in the second round to Hosie's 55.5%.