Future Generations Commissioner for Wales
The Five Ways of Working will be at the heart of my work and that of my team – we will be the change we want to see in others”
With a remit set out in law to be “the guardian of the interests of future generations in Wales”, Sophie Howe is the world’s only Future Generations Commissioner.
Described by The Guardian as the “World’s first minister of the Unborn”, her role is to provide advice to the Government and other public bodies in Wales on delivering social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being for current and future generations and assessing and reporting on how they are delivering.
Sophie took up post in 2016 and has led high profile interventions around transport planning, education reform and climate change challenging the Government and others to demonstrate how they are taking account of future generations. Described by the Big Issue Magazine as one of the UK’s leading Changemakers, her interventions have secured fundamental changes to land use planning policy, major transport schemes and Government policy on housing – ensuring that decisions taken today are fit for the future. She has represented Wales at the UN the OECD and on a number of International Forums including Chairing the Network of Institutions for Future Generations.
Prior to this role Sophie was the first Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales where she led programmes to tackle violent crime and violence against women and girls, focusing on early intervention and partnership working. She reformed programmes on substance misuse and offender management and led the first police programme designed to address childhood adversities.
Sophie has served as an Adviser to two Welsh First Ministers providing policy and political advice on communities, local government, equality and community safety where she led to development of Wales’ first legislation to tackle violence against women and girls.
She was an elected Councillor for 9 years from the age of 21 and she wrote the 2009 report of the Councillors Commission which led to legislative reforms on increasing diversity amongst elected members. She has a background in equality and diversity having managed the Legal Department of the Equal Opportunities Commission.
She is named in the top 100 Business Women in Wales, is a fellow at Cardiff University Business School and Swansea University, holds an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David and a degree in law and politics. She lives in Cardiff with her husband and their five children.
Diversity, Inclusion and Antiracism Partner
Patience’s background is in Politics and International Development, with focus on Diversity, Inclusion and Representation in Policy and Implementation.
She has worked in various roles in the Public, Private and Third sectors.
Her participation as a member of the Socio-economic sub-committee of the Welsh Government Covid Advisory Committee has built upon her skills, experience and passion to embed diversity in an Anti-racist Wales. These and her lived experiences are what Patience infuses into her role in the OFGC to offer support and advice on achieving a more equal Wales for future generations.
Patience is the 2021 Ethnic Minority Welsh Women Achievement Association (EMWWAA) award recipient for Self–Development; and the Rhodri Morgan. She loves music and singing, amongst other things; and is mother to a teenage son.
Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Commissioner
As Involvement Artist, Sandy works with the whole team to ensure that our work is informed by meaningful conversations and that we engage with people from a wide variety of backgrounds across Wales. Outside of work Sandy is active with a number of community and environmental groups, and volunteers as a befriender. Sandy loves to be outdoors and close to nature, cycling, running or walking with friends and family and is a serial instigator of book clubs.
Change Maker Support
As a Change Maker Support, Colleen, is part of the team working with public bodies to ensure the interests of future generations are at the heart of all they do. She is the Point of Contact for several national public bodies and local public bodies in Southeast Wales.
In her spare time Colleen loves being outside, birding and doing things with her hands- gardening, sewing, pottery, baking, and anything in between. As a native of South Africa, she’s enjoying learning about and exploring Wales and is learning Welsh.
Our Solutions Architect maintains the smooth day to day running of our workplace. Susan also oversees management of all our IT systems including IT training, and supports with our HR function. She is a natural problem solver who is always looking for ways to maximise our well-being with an engaging and inviting workplace environment. The Solutions Architect also manages the Commissioner’s complex and fast-moving diary and logistics. Outside of the office, Susan likes to sew, bake, watch most sports and is a season ticket holder at Cardiff City FC.
Lead Change Maker: Public Affairs and International
Jacob is the Lead Change Maker for Public Affairs and International Relations at the Office of the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales. His main responsibilities include advising senior stakeholders including Government Ministers to implement the Well-being of Future Generations Act. In 2019 he established the Future Generations Leadership Academy and has worked internationally to promote the world-leading legislation. He is Non-Executive Director of Literature Wales, a Trustee of Scouts Cymru and Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru. He is a former BBC Wales Journalist and is one of the alumni of the UNITE 2030 Youth Delegate Program.
Research and Analyst Officer
Luke is a recent graduate, completing an MScEcon in Politics and Public Policy. As part of the future generations, Luke takes great interest and pride in how Wales can standout as an international advocate for the betterment of all lives on this planet. Outside of work, Luke attempts to find a hobby that suits them: from surfing to knitting, nothing is too challenging.
Change Maker Support
Sam is in one of our Change Maker Support roles. Currently, the team is working with public bodies to ensure the interests of future generations are placed firmly at the heart of all they do. Sam is a Point of Contact for several national public bodies and local public bodies in Gwent. He is passionate about the work of the Commissioner and takes pride in helping to shape a globally responsible Wales that is leading the way in creating a fair and sustainable world for our future generations.
Change Maker (Nature, Climate Change and Decarbonisation)
As a Change Maker with a focus on climate, nature and decarbonisation, Rhiannon is supporting public bodies in Wales to go net zero by 2030 and to take action to address the climate and biodiversity emergencies.
Rhiannon has previously worked in the public sector across Welsh Government, NHS, Senedd and local authorities where for 10 years she led the Rural Development Programme team at Bridgend CBC supporting sustainable and cohesive community development and thriving rural economies.
Rhiannon also has a charity background both as Wales Manager with active travel charity Living Streets advocating for everyday walking, clean air and transport decarbonisation and was a Trustee and co-Chair of the Wales Centre for International Affairs for some years.
Her main areas of interest are housing and transport decarbonisation including getting her own life on track to net zero. Rhiannon lives in Cardiff with her husband and two eco-warrior kids. “There is no PLANet B!”
Change Maker Support
Naj is passionate about equalities and our international work. As a Change Maker Support, Naj works on the Future Generations Leadership Academy and supports the office’s international work.
As Analyst Officer, Alice supports members of the team with research and analysis, particularly focusing on the delivery and follow-up of the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales’ first Section 20 Procurement Review. Alice is also working with the Office’s Change Maker Support team, building relationships with public bodies to ensure the interests of future generations are placed firmly at the heart of all they do. Alice is a Point of Contact for several public bodies in North Wales. In her spare time, Alice enjoys hiking, learning to cook new recipes, and traveling.
Team Support Officer
Natalie is a newly appointed Team Support Officer working across the team in a wide support role. Natalie has an extensive background in team working and office management, supporting other people to fulfil their roles and reach their potential is what she enjoys doing the most. Natalie lives with her young family and two very pampered cats, and enjoys getting out to enjoy the great outdoors every chance she gets, or reading whenever she gets some quiet time (which is not very often!).
Communications Support Officer
As our Communications Support Officer, Hollie is responsible for producing our monthly FGC newsletter, organising translation and proofreading our English and Welsh publications. Hollie also supports Claire, Media Lead, with press and media work and supports our social platforms, website and design work. Outside of work, Hollie enjoys reading, logging her entire life in a bullet journal and rewatching Gilmore Girls for the thousandth time.
Change Analyst (Correspondence, Legislation and Policy)
Petranka (Pep) is responsible for dealing with the emails that are sent to our office by members of the public, different public bodies, organisations and, sometimes, elected representatives. She is also involved in the handling of requests for support and advice sent to us by different public bodies and organisations, as well as gathering and collating case studies of good practice. Her role also includes working with the Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Commissioner in all aspects of legal advice work, handling sensitive and confidential information, conducting legal research and analysing the office’s public correspondence to detect systemic issues. Outside of the office, Pep likes to read fantasy books, take pictures of her dog, slowly kill her houseplants and complain about the weather.
Team Support Administrator
Ola is a support team officer working as the first point of contact to provide efficient and definitive support to the Office of the Future Generations Commissioner. Ola enjoys going out and spending time with friends and family. Ola also has a kitten named Cairo!
Lead Change Maker
As a Lead Change Maker, Heledd is a member of management team and leads on a number of our work areas. Like the rest of the team, her main role is to work with the public sector to help them change their practice and culture in light of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act, focusing mainly on the Commissioner’s interest in policy around ‘Skills for the Future’. Heledd works closely with Audit Wales on monitoring the progress of public bodies in meeting the legislation and helps to develop advice and resources to speed up change.
Heledd is from Carmarthenshire originally and speaks fluent Welsh, but now lives in North Cardiff, where she loves having a daily walk along the River Taff.
At university, Heledd was in a Gospel, Soul, Acapella and Pop choir called GASP!”
People and Culture Change Maker Lead
Louisa (Lou) is our Lead Peeps expert, responsible for all things HR, Culture & People Development with a bit of corporate governance thrown in for good measure. She has over 20 years experience in the field of Human Resources, having led people operations teams mainly within the Welsh housing sector and formerly within private industry. Lou is an HR game changer, constantly searching for exciting and progressive ways to craft a better future of work and move beyond traditional HR practice. She is Mum to two teenage boys and spends most of her spare time on the athletics tracks and rugby pitches cheering on her sporting young future generations. An avid lover of dance and known to belt out the odd karaoke tune when the occasion arises, Lou also loves to walk her very interesting bichon frisée/chow chow cross named Blake!
Helen Nelson is our Corporate Hero, taking a lead in organising our work and supporting staff with planning and delivery across the board. Working closely with the directors and lead change makers, key aspects of Helen’s role include challenging the team around impact and ensuring that we walk the talk – be the change that we want to see in others in all that we do. Helen has led organisations including Ymlaen Ceredigion and Cynnal Cymru – Sustain Wales. Originally from Aberdare, Helen now lives in Mumbles, spending over 10 years in Aberystwyth in between. She is active in her local community and her two young sons keep her busy. Helen’s hobbies seem to be attending children’s parties and walking her dog.
Finance and Corporate Governance Officer
Originally from South Korea, Sang-Jin has lived in Wales since 2004. He has responsibility for finance and corporate governance. Much of Sang-Jin’s spare time is taken up with his two dogs & baking cakes. He’s also an enthusiastic practitioner of yoga.
Head of Finance
Lisa has recently joined the organisation in the newly created Head of Finance role. A Chartered Accountant, she honed her craft over 15 years in Practise and Industry before taking the plunge into Public Sector. She is eager and excited to be a part of the changing Wales, lead by FGC, and is looking forward to all the challenges and opportunities that will bring.
Lisa lives near Cardiff with her husband and two young daughters. When not in her “mum” role she enjoys a few relaxing hours with friends partaking in afternoon teas or brunches. She has a keen interest in Quantum Physics theories (not the dreaded math!) and her guilty pleasure is all things UFO and Conspiracy Theory related – the truth is out there!
As Media Lead, Claire is responsible for sharing our stories with the media, both locally and globally, and is our point of contact with journalists writing about the Act, the commissioner and our work. A former journalist of 10 years, she’s been working in PR since 2013 for charities, agencies and businesses. She’s a Welsh and Spanish learner, and an advocate for sustainable fashion – one of her favourite things is rummaging in charity shops.
Team Support Administrator
As a Team Support Administrator, Cara is responsible for making sure that work is getting completed and sent efficiently and correctly. Cara joined the team after completing a Masters degree in Welsh Government and Politics from Cardiff University. After an insight to the public policy sphere, her dissertation focused on promoting national identity, whilst looking at policy networks, nation building, Welsh language policy and the inter-relationship between the third sector and national-level policies, for example, Cymraeg 2050: A Million Welsh Speakers. This was built from her undergraduate dissertation, which discussed how to promote the everyday use of minority languages by using Urdd Gobaith Cymru intervention called Cymraeg Bob Dydd.
Team Support Officer
Kate has joined the team as a Team Support Officer and works on making our Future Generations Report and policy recommendations more accessible for Welsh Government and Public Bodies. Kate has a real passion for youth politics and outside of work volunteers with youth non-profits Youth Cymru, UK Youth and Future Leaders Network. Kate spends most of her time training as a Welsh international middle-distance runner.
Christian is one of our Change Makers. Currently his work includes the green and just recovery in Wales, supporting how we work with public bodies and Public Services Boards, using and applying futures approaches, and responsive advice. Christian also supports our work in other areas such as skills for the future, decarbonisation and transport. Away from the office, Christian can usually be found trail running, or introducing people to it, via his ‘Wild Trail Cardiff’ group.
International Partnerships & Networks Change Maker
Jonny thinks Wales is going to change the world – by showing how it is possible to fight social inequality and climate change all at the same time. He supports the team’s international work, leads on private sector engagement and is responsible for the Future Generations Leadership Academy. Jonny spends too much time reading about politics and eats too much pasta. He says his favourite musical is Little Shop Of Horrors but if you press him it’s actually Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Deian is a Change Analyst with a particular focus on universal basic income, supporting the team with policy research and analysis. Originally from Llangollen, he previously worked in various roles in Welsh and European politics in Brussels. He is passionate about the transformative potential of ambitious policymaking and helping to create a globally responsible Wales. Deian enjoys writing and playing music, languages, and travel.
Future Leaders Changemaker
Policy and Research Officer
Louisa was a joint appointment by the Office and Public Health Wales. Her job is to think about the future and help public bodies do the same. This includes what might need to be done now to prepare for the future, what impact decisions will have in the longer term and what the future we want to create looks like. As part of her own efforts towards a better future, Louisa has worked for health and social justice charities and supports getting more women into public life. Louisa is happiest when she is outside, exploring the amazing beaches of Gower with her husband and dog, or getting overly emotional at musical theatre, books and too many TV programs.
Poet in Residence 2021
The 26-year-old poet and creative facilitator, from Penarth, whose work explores themes including womanhood, queerness, empowerment, connection, magic and folktales, and nature, was born and grew up in Barry.
Her year-long collaboration with the Future Generations Commissioner will see the young poet finding new ways to communicate the goals of the Act, one of which is a Wales with a vibrant culture and thriving Welsh language, and some of its work. The theme for this year is ‘Wales to the World’ – highlighting the importance of the Well-being of Future Generations Act’s vision and Wales’ role in the world.
Former Plaid Cymru AM and former member of PAC and chair of Assembly’s Finance Committee, member of Advisory Panel to Children’s Commissioner for Wales and Chair of their ARAC, trustee of Care and Repair Cymru, non-executive board member of the Welsh Revenue authority;
Retired Auditor, trustee and honorary treasurer for City Hospice Care and member of the CIPFA-Cymru branch executive
Former Chief Officer and Chief Legal Adviser with South Wales Police, member of the Board of Directors of ACPO, Chair of Association of Police Lawyers
Former Conservative AM and chair of PAC and Assembly’s Health, Well-being and Local Government Committee and currently Director of Practice Solutions. Chair of the Public Services Ombudsman’s ARAC
Chair of our Audit and Risk Assurance Committee
Helal Uddin and Lloyd Williams
Co-Directors of EYST (Ethnic Minorities and Youth Support Team Wales)
Director of Stonewall Cymru
Chief Executive of Disability Wales
Chief Executive of the Milford Haven Port Authority (representing business)
Andy Jones is CEO of Port Milford Haven (but standing down in April 2022) – he is an experienced Board member and business leader across a number of different sectors and is part of our Section 20 Review Steering Group.
Chief Medical Officer
Dr Frank Atherton took up post as Chief Medical Officer, Medical Director NHS Wales in August 2016. Frank graduated in medicine from Leeds University and has worked in a number of primary care and public health positions across the UK, Africa and North America. Frank was knighted in the 2022 New Year Honours list for his services to public health following the leading role he has played in Wales throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sir David Henshaw
Chair, Natural Resource Wales
Sir David Henshaw is the Chair of Natural Resources Wales. Sir David is and has been also a Chair and Non-Executive Director for a number of other public and private organisations and retains a series of advisory roles.
Heléna Herklots CBE
Older People’s Commissioner
Heléna Herklots is the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales – an independent statutory role established in law to protect and promote older people’s rights. Heléna is Chair of the UK Industrial Strategy Healthy Ageing Challenge Advisory Group and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Children’s Commissioner for Wales
Chief Executive, WCVA
Ruth Marks is Chief Executive of WCVA and has a background in the voluntary and public sectors including equalities, diversity, human resource and change management.
Welsh Language Commissioner
Shavanah Taj (PCS)
General Secretary, Wales TUC
Shavanah Taj is Wales TUC’s first BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) General Secretary. She joined Wales TUC in February 2019 from the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), where she had been the Welsh Secretary since 2013. Shavanah is a passionate campaigner and activist and can often be found contributing speeches at round table debates and protest marches on issues such as anti-racism, human rights, women’s rights, fair pay, fair work and climate justice.