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.
Director of Policy, Legislation and Innovation
Marie is ‘adopted Welsh’ originally from France. She is our Director for Policy, Legislation and Innovation. She is a specialist in public law, the law of devolution, parliamentary procedures and now of the Well-Being of Future Generations (Wales) Act. And she loves it. She is part of the senior management team which helps develop and deliver the Commissioner’s corporate plan and priorities and design internal policies. Marie is responsible for overseeing work on monitoring and assessing public bodies’ well-being objectives, leads the work on the legal application of the Act in addition to her work with correspondence, transport and planning. Marie is also The Honorary Consul of France in Wales and she loves good food, good wine and nature.
As Communications Planner, Rebecca is responsible for the development of long-term communication plans, identifying key messages and audiences for the work of the office and overseeing the office’s communication activity. Rebecca works closely with the Change Makers and the Corporate Planner to plan and communicate the work of the office with public bodies and wider. She also provides content for key speeches and reports and is responsible for brand guidelines and the office’s tone of voice. In her spare time, you can usually find Rebecca reading, writing, or listening to music, or enjoying a glass of wine whilst cooking.
Our Office Manager maintains the smooth day to day running of our workplace. Susan also oversees management of all our IT systems including IT training, supports with our HR function and is secretariat to our ARAC and Advisory Panel. 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 Office Manager 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.
As our Digital Innovator, Abby is responsible for creating all our digital content and pushing us to use new and creative technologies to communicate. Her work includes populating our social media channels, taking pictures, creating video case studies and highlighting exciting new digital developments. Abby is also keen to share digital innovation with other organisations and holds a quarterly Digital Café to share ideas on how digital advancements can shape the way we communicate. In her spare time, Abby can usually be found rocking out to Guns’n’Roses, drinking too much tea or escaping back to her hometown on the beach in Dorset with her family and Poppy the dog.
Lead Change Maker: Public Affairs and International
Jacob’s main responsibilities include liaising with politicians and stakeholders whilst also overseeing external communications. Jacob also leads on the international work of the office and looks for new ways to bring Wales to the world and the world to Wales. He is a strong advocate of putting people ahead of process. He enjoys learning about new cultures and travelling! Jacob is also the Deputy Chair of Literature Wales and a Trustee of Scouts Cymru.
Head of Human Resources
As the Human Resources Specialist, Amanda helps to find, grow and keep the lovely people who work for the Future Generations Commissioner and the Children’s Commissioner for Wales. She works in partnership with FGC to help them build their workforce resilience in a way that truly reflects the aims and aspirations of the Well-being of Future Generations Act. She believes working for both organisations is a great way to share resources, share learning, build resilience and walk the talk of the WFGA.
Team Support Officer
Elle joined us in summer 2018 as one of our Change Makers. Currently, her work is focused on the priority area of health and well-being (social prescribing) in addition to working on future funding of social care, budget scrutiny and milestones and indicators. Originally from Cardiff, she now lives in Bridgend with her husband. Elle can usually be found experimenting in her kitchen or walking her dog. Elle is passionate about improving the day to day lives of people and animals and is a keen advocate of Hope Rescue.
Team Support Officer
As the Team Support Officer Hollie’s work includes supporting the Office Manager in organising and arranging meetings and events in addition to supporting the promotion and communication of the office’s work. Additionally, her duties include supporting colleagues with requests such as stationary orders, providing reception service and managing the receipt, distribution and dispatch of all mail and telephone calls received. Outside of the office Hollie’s interests include watching the newest films, enjoying live music and taking pictures of her cat.
Lead Change Maker
As a Lead Change Maker, Cathy manages the Art of the Possible programme which is a partnership with 8 organisations setting out what good looks like in terms of meeting the requirements of the Act. She also leads on work on the Welsh Government’s budget and the office’s work on futures. Outside of work she volunteers for a community garden, a local community centre for vulnerable people and is a school governor and a housing association board member. She likes to spend time outdoors, whatever the weather, particularly with her family in Mid Wales.
Public Correspondence and Legal Officer
Petranka is responsible for dealing with the letters and emails that are sent to our office by members of the public, different public bodies, organisations and, sometimes, elected representatives. Petranka is involved in the handling of requests for support and advice sent to us by different public bodies and organisations. Her role also includes assisting the Director of Policy, Legislation and Innovation 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, Petranka likes to read fantasy books, play video games and complain about the weather.
Lead Change Maker
As a Change Maker, Heledd works with public organisations to help them change how they work in light of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act. She leads on the Commissioner’s duty to monitor and assess the extent that organisations are meeting their well-being objectives, which in practice means working closely with the Wales Audit Office and taking a look at nearly 400 objectives! Her work involves supporting the 19 Public Services Boards across Wales, advising the Welsh city regions and helping to develop resources that will be useful to public bodies. Heledd is from Carmarthenshire originally and speaks fluent Welsh, but now lives in Cardiff with her partner and retired racing greyhound. She has a passion for local food, real ale and travel.
Lead Change Maker
In her current role she leads on a number of policy areas including Housing and Adverse Childhood Experiences, as well as Live Labs; the Commissioner’s higher-level form of providing ‘advice and assistance’ to public bodies, supporting them to address systemic issues. Prior to this role, Bonnie spent 10 years with South Wales Police and Welsh Government housing department.
Before having children, Bonnie spent 17 years volunteering with vulnerable people, including a six month placement in Beirut and specialising in supporting children and adults with profound and multiple learning disabilities.
Helen Nelson is our Corporate Planner, 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.
Eurgain is a Change Maker at the office and leads our work on transport, decarbonisation and procurement. She developed the Future Generations Framework for projects and authored our recent “Transport fit for Future Generations” report. She is currently working on the new Transport Strategy, use of WelTAG guidance, Transport for Wales rail franchise and Metro, Low Carbon Delivery plan and procurement pilots. As mum of 2 busy boys spare time is limited but Eurgain enjoys spending time outdoors in nature, running & cycling, yoga, eating & drinking fine food & wine! She volunteers with Scouts and is a member of the Plastic-free Penarth group.
Christian joined us in summer 2018 as one of our Change Makers. Currently, his work includes health system change, alternative models of health, providing advice and support to Public Service Boards and responsive advice. Christian’s also focussed on decarbonisation and supporting colleagues on skills and city deals. Away from the office, Christian can usually be found running or podcasting with Seismic Wales.
Director of Finance and Corporate Governance
Helen is on a mission to demystify finance governance and risk and bring back common sense in decision making in the workplace. She is passionate about people and creating and sustaining workplace conditions in which they thrive. Occasionally let out of the Office to Chair WGSB Heads of Resources group but otherwise mostly to be found in awe of her creative and innovative colleagues. Outside of work, Helen is a proud mum of 3, happiest at home and about to add a puppy to the mix but invite her to a party and she’ll be there.
Goal Convenor for A Globally Responsible Wales
Working on the Art of The Possible has been an absolute privilege. It was no mean feat; not only supporting people to understand what we mean by global responsibility but working collaboratively with partner organisations and public bodies who are calling out to deepen their understanding and start taking action. It's great that we are in a place where we can be clear on what we mean by a Globally Responsible Wales, through ensuring we are engaging in ethical supply chains, using our fair share of the earth’s natural resources, adapting to climate change, working to make Wales a welcoming place for everyone, making the right financial decisions for the future and educating others on the importance of global responsibility.
Elen is a bi-lingual project manager/disruptor and I has spent the last decade in the international development sector, supporting Wales’ role in being the world’s first Fair Trade Nation. She relishes her current role which supports public bodies in Wales to understand what it means to be globally responsible, from ethical procurement to international community development partnerships, global education policy to refugee policy and support to fossil-fuel divestment and ethical investment. Elen is proud to work with a wide-range of wonderful people and an inspiring Commissioner, on such a vital piece of work.
Resident Vlogger (Video Blogger)
As our resident vlogger, Nia communicates the latest news of the Future Generations Office through fun and informative videos. Her work includes working with the communications team on how to get the great work done in the office out to the young people of Wales and beyond. Nia is currently studying for a PhD at the School of Ocean Sciences, Bangor University looking at marine microplastic. When she’s not working she can usually found near the sea, or eating a chocolate biscuit… or five!
Private Sector Consultant
Poet in Residence
Rufus Mufasa is a pioneering participatory artist who advocates hip hop education and poetry development that is accessible to everyone. A Hay Writer at Work, Rufus also mentors inmates at Parc Prison and was the first Welsh artist to perform at Ruisrock festival, Finland.
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.
As one of our bloggers, Nick contributes to our news pages with his insightful narratives. Aside from an interest in Climate science, Nick also enjoys writing about developments in healthcare with a specific interest in changes around oncology. In his spare time, Nick can be found surfing at Porthcawl or Llangennith, taking photographs of local coastline or watching the football in hope United can muster a win.
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