Could you be the new Chair for the Institute of Welsh Affairs?

Are you looking for a great way to help shape Wales’ future?


The Institute of Welsh Affairs (IWA) is seeking to recruit a new Chair to oversee the next exciting stage of this influential, independent think tank’s development.  

Whether it’s our flagship project Re-energising Wales setting out the way forward for Wales to capitalise on renewables, our thought-leadership on the opportunities for city regions to use smart technology to do far more than merely impact GVA, our commentary and critique of education and public governance in Wales, or our authoritative influence on media policy, you’ll be invigorated by the work we do to address the challenges facing Wales and you’ll feel driven to contribute by supporting and guiding our boundary-crossing work.  

With a growing membership across Wales and beyond, and a strong portfolio of projects with clear impact on policy making, coupled with our highly-regarded platforms for comment and debate in the welsh agenda and click on wales, the IWA Board is looking for a new Chair to lead the organisation beyond the next National Assembly and General Elections.  

We’d like our new Chair to be particularly politically-savvy, and very clued up on how best to get our recommendations implemented.  Building on the development of the organisation during Helen Molyneux’ tenure as Chair, we are looking to extend our reach even further, increasing the impact of our policy, research and thinking even more.


To find out more

If you are interested in an informal discussion about what the role entails, please contact Helen Molyneux, Chair of the IWA, via, marking it for her attention.  

For an informal discussion about the IWA’s future plans, please contact Auriol Miller, IWA Director, via, marking it for her attention.


Application process

To apply for this role, please send your CV and a covering letter (maximum 2 sides of A4) for the Nomination Committee’s attention, outlining your fit with this role, to before 5pm on 31 January 2019.

Shortlisting will take place in early February.  Interviews are scheduled for 13 February, and we aim to appoint a new Chair before our Board meeting on 7 March.


About the IWA

IWA’s vision

Our vision is to help create a Wales where everyone can flourish.



We are the Institute of Welsh Affairs; Wales’ leading independent think tank

  • We challenge, inspire and drive change, and make Wales a better place to live and work for everyone
  • We are independent of government and political parties
  • We bring together experience and expertise from all backgrounds to collaborate on the most important issues facing Wales
  • We come up with ambitious but practical and informed ideas to improve the economy, education, governance, health and social care, and the media
  • Our vision is to create a Wales where everyone can thrive.



  • Independent – We are independent of government and political parties. We work in the best interest of Wales and its people
  • Integrity – We are committed to being open, honest and fair
  • Inclusive – We work for everyone in Wales and want to engage with anyone who thinks and cares about Wales
  • Innovative – We work creatively to come up with better ways of doing things
  • Informed – We are evidence-informed, coming up with practical ideas that work.

More about our current work can be found here: and on our Twitter feed: @iwa_wales


Principal responsibilities – Chair


The Chair will hold the Board and Executive Team to account for the Charity’s mission and vision, providing inclusive leadership to the Board of Trustees, ensuring that each Trustee fulfils their duties and responsibilities for the effective governance of the charity.  The Chair will also support, and, where appropriate, challenge the Director and ensure that the Board functions as a unit and works closely with the entire Executive of the Charity to achieve agreed objectives. He or she will act as an ambassador and the public face of the Charity in partnership with the Director.


Strategic leadership

  • Provide leadership to the Charity and its Board, ensuring that the Charity has maximum impact for its members
  • Ensure that Trustees fulfil their duties and responsibilities for the effective governance of the Charity
  • Ensure that the Board operates within its charitable objectives, and provides a clear strategic direction for the Charity
  • Ensure that the Board is able to regularly review major risks and associated opportunities, and satisfy itself that systems are in place to take advantage of opportunities, and manage and mitigate the risks
  • Ensure that the Board fulfils its duties to ensure sound financial health of the Charity, with systems in place to ensure financial accountability


  • Ensure that the governance arrangements are working in the most effective way for the Charity
  • Develop the knowledge and capability of the Board of Trustees
  • Encourage positive change and where appropriate address and resolve any conflicts within the Board
  • Appraise the performance of the Trustees and the Board on an annual basis
  • Ensure that the Board of Trustees is regularly refreshed and incorporates the right balance of skills, knowledge and experience needed to govern and lead the charity effectively, and which also reflects the wider population
  • Work within any agreed policies adopted by the Charity

External Relations

  • Act as an ambassador for the cause and the Charity
  • Maintain close relationships with key members of the Government and with key stakeholders
  • Act as a spokesperson for the organisation when appropriate
  • Represent the charity at external functions, meetings and events
  • Facilitate change and address any potential conflict with external stakeholders

Efficiency and effectiveness

  • Chair meetings of the Board of Trustees effectively and efficiently, bringing impartiality and objectivity to the decision making process
  • Ensure that Trustees are fully engaged and that decisions are taken in the best, long-term interests of the Charity and that the Board takes collective ownership
  • Foster, maintain and ensure that constructive relationships exist with and between the Trustees
  • Work closely with the Director to give direction to Board policy-making and to ensure that meetings are well planned, meaningful and reflect the responsibilities of Trustees
  • Monitor that decisions taken at meetings are implemented.

Relationship with the Director and the wider management team

  • Establish and build a strong, effective and constructive working relationship with the Director, ensuring s/he is held to account for achieving agreed strategic objectives
  • Support the Director, whilst respecting the boundaries which exist between the two roles
  • Ensure regular contact with the Director and develop and maintain an open and supportive relationship within which each can speak openly about concerns, worries and challenges
  • Liaise with the Director to maintain an overview of the Charity’s affairs, providing support as necessary
  • Conduct an annual appraisal and remuneration review for the Director in consultation with other Trustees
  • Ensure that the Director has the opportunity for professional development and has appropriate external professional support
  • Enable an open, constructive working relationship with the wider management team, whilst respecting the boundaries which exist between the roles of Chair and Director

The above list is indicative only and not exhaustive. The Chair will be expected to perform all such additional duties as are reasonably commensurate with the role.


Person Specification – Chair

In addition to the qualities required of a Trustee of the charity (see below), the Chair must also meet the following requirements. In your CV and covering letter please highlight how you fit the specification below:

Personal Qualities

How assessed?
  • Demonstrate a strong and visible passion and commitment to the Charity, its  strategic objectives and cause
  • Personal credibility to lead a significant national organisation
Application and interview
  • Exhibit strong inter-personal and relationship-building abilities and be comfortable in an ambassadorial role
Application and interview
  • Demonstrate tact and diplomacy, with the ability to listen and engage effectively
  • Strong networking capabilities that can be utilised for the benefit of the Charity
Application and interview
  • Ability to foster and promote a collaborative team environment
  • Ability to commit time to conduct the role well, including travel and attending events out of office hours



  • Successful track record of achievement through their career, including of political engagement and influencing
Application and interview
  • Experience of operating at a senior strategic leadership level within an organisation
Application and interview
  • Experience of charity governance and working with or as part of a Board of Trustees
Application and interview
  • Experience of external representation, delivering presentations and managing stakeholders
Application and interview
  • Significant experience of chairing meetings and events


Application and interview

Knowledge and skills

  • Broad knowledge and understanding of the Civil Society sector and current issues affecting it
  • Strong leadership skills, ability to motivate staff and volunteers and bring people together
  • Financial management expertise and a broad understanding of charity finance issues
Application and interview
  • Good understanding of charity governance issues
Application and interview


The Charity’s Chair will serve a four-year term to be eligible for re-appointment for one additional term.

Trustee positions are unpaid, however all out of pocket expenses incurred in undertaking Board business can be fully reimbursed.


Meetings are normally held in Cardiff, Wales, however Board members may also participate remotely.

Time commitment
In addition to chairing the main Board meetings, the Chair has the right to attend the sub-groups.

The Chair is expected to attend a minimum of 4 half-day Board meetings per year, an annual Board awayday, up to 4 sub group meetings per year (if on the Finance and General Practice Committee or the Membership, Marketing and Communications Committee), plus occasional external representation at key IWA events as agreed with the Director.   The Chair is also expected to arrange regular 1:1s with the Director.

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.

Find out more