To mark three decades of the IWA’s role in making Wales better, we decided to look forward to ‘the next thirty years’ by introducing some of the people who will be shaping ‘the Welsh agenda’ as the future unfolds. We have teamed up with PricewaterhouseCoopers and their #GreatWales campaign, which celebrates the ideas and people who contribute to the Wales of the future.
Seth Thomas, mid 40s, is an international advisor at the Bank of England
based in London
After a career in banking at Citi and consultancy, latterly advising governments around the world about their public finance issues, in 2012 I stepped off the corporate ladder to join the first class to study at Oxford’s new Blavatnik School of Government. From 2011-14 I sat on the Welsh Government’s Financial & Professional Services panel, and after that was a member of the Task & Finish Group examining the case for the Development Bank for Wales. I also sat on the board of Chatham House – the Royal Institute of International Affairs. I’m now at the Bank of England advising on international financial policy & strategy – the Bank, I’ve found, is hugely respected by its peers – and my colleagues there have a very strong public service ethos.
So after growing up in rural West Wales, I’ve found myself living in the global city, with a distinctive mix of private sector finance and public policy experience, having enjoyed an international career, but with strong links to Wales. And I’d like to be able to contribute more to my country in future, to bring that international and business experience back home.
I’ve felt fulfilled by public service whether in my private or public sector roles. I think that comes from my family – my mother was a primary school teacher; one grandfather worked for the old electricity board as a linesman; and the other served on the Council of Wales, a 1950s forerunner of devolution. But that sense of service also comes from the community that helped to form me – and which still, I feel, faces many of the issues that it did when I was growing up there.
If I have a vision for Wales, it is of a country which provides opportunities for its people in terms of education, jobs, and having a fulfilling life. A country which is rightly proud of its culture and heritage, but which is forward-looking and actively engages with the complexities of the wider world. That engagement is absolutely fundamental to Wales’ future prosperity and something I’d like to promote.
Each day, throughout the month of June, we are celebrating the exceptional people on the Next 30 list by publishing a short pen portrait here on Click on Wales, as well as raising their profile on Twitter using #IWAnext30 and #GreatWales to highlight the exciting contributions these people are making to Wales’ future.
While you’re here, we’ve got something to ask you: will you join us?
We’re working every day to bring the right people together and generate the ideas to make Wales a world-leading force.
We’re independent of government and political parties. We provide a much-needed space for open, transparent debate about the ideas that can make Wales better.
To continue to do this, we need people like you to join us.
Join us today and you’ll be supporting vital work that’s making our country better than ever.