New IWA Board Members

The Institute of Welsh Affairs is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Alison Wride, Leena Farhat, Sarah Prescott and Shereen Williams to the Board of the IWA. 

The Institute of Welsh Affairs is pleased to announce the appointment of four new Trustees to the Board of the IWA. 

Bethan Darwin, Chair of the Board, said ‘I am delighted to welcome Alison, Leena, Sarah, and Shereen to the Board of the IWA. We’re committed to being an organisation that is truly representative of the people of Wales. Our new Trustees are fantastic additions to the organisation and underline our commitment to diversifying public life.

The IWA is Wales’s leading independent think tank and the experience and expertise of our new Trustees will enable us to continue to shape and improve our democracy, public services and economy, at this particularly critical juncture for Wales. I look forward to working with them for many years to come.’


Professor Alison Wride

Professor Alison Wride is a Professor of Economics, and Head of Bangor Business School, at Bangor University who specialises in the economics of social policy. She has expertise in policy design, communication and implementation and is particularly interested in the challenges that face governments in trying to build resilient and equitable economies.

Alison also heads up EML Learning, one of the UK’s leading providers of public sector training and, after spending many years in senior management roles in Higher Education, in early 2020 she joined Bangor University to lead the Business School through a programme of growth and change.

‘I’m delighted to be joining the Board as a Trustee of the IWA. I feel very privileged to be offered a role that will allow me to contribute to shaping the future of Wales. We are living through turbulence and uncertainty, beyond anything that most of us have experienced. But even the worst of times, bring opportunity. I believe Wales is an excellent position to build resilience and deliver an economy that changes things for the better.’

Leena Farhat

Leena Farhat is a Computer Science graduate from Aberystwyth University where she took a strong interest in Bilingual Natural Language Processing methods. She is the Diversity Officer for the Welsh Liberal Democrats as well as the Cadeirydd of Grŵp Hawl. She has expertise in rural affairs, diversity issues and Welsh language topics.

‘I am honoured to have been appointed to join the Board as a Trustee of the IWA. I am excited to support the organisation to navigate these next few lively years for Wales. Our nation is at a series of crossroads and we need to make sure that we are providing a wide range of people with radical and progressive work to help them stay informed, think outside of the box and create the Wales that we want to see.’

Sarah Prescott

Sarah Prescott is the Chief Finance Officer of Valleys to Coast Housing Association. She is an experienced “big four” chartered accountant (FCA) with a degree in Economics.  She also has an interest in broader issues such as equality and diversity, history, learning training and development, economic regeneration, treasury and governance.

She sits on the Board of Tai Pawb, the Welsh housing equality and diversity charity, and is active with Community Housing Cymru, the body which represents social housing in Wales, and with Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) locally and nationally (sitting on the local committee, the social housing panel, the Statement of Recommended Practice panel and the ICAEW Wales Strategy Board).

‘I am absolutely delighted to be joining the Board of Trustees of the Institute of Welsh Affairs during such a critical time for Wales and I hope I can bring my skills and professional interests to the table to support the IWA as it continues its journey.’

Shereen Williams MBE OStJ

Shereen Williams MBE OStJ is the Chief Executive of the Local Democracy and Boundary Commission for Wales & Parliamentary Boundary Commission for Wales (LDBCW).

Prior to taking up the post with LDBCW in January 2019, she worked across Newport and Monmouthshire Local Authorities managing teams responsible for the delivery of strategic priorities including Migration, Preventing Violent Extremism, Equalities and Community Cohesion. She also currently sits as a magistrate on the Gwent bench and is a trustee of St John Ambulance Cymru.

‘I’m delighted to be nominated to join the IWA Board and look forward to contributing to national discussions on how Wales meets the challenges of our times with creativity, innovation and a commitment to improve the lives of all our citizens.’

Innovative. Informed. Independent.
Your support can help us make Wales better.


Also within IWA News