The Institute of Welsh Affairs announces the departure of our Director Auriol Miller, after seven years at the head of Wales’ leading independent think tank. Auriol Miller will leave the IWA at the end of January 2024 to take up the role of CEO of Cynon Taf Community Housing Group.
During her time leading the IWA, Auriol has spearheaded the organisation’s work towards creating a strong, green and fair economy in Wales and a healthy and inclusive media and democracy. In doing so, she has made a point to expand the accessibility and diversity of the IWA’s work, weaving inclusion through its key objectives.
Over this seven-year period, the IWA navigated the challenges of Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic. With a dual focus on Wales’ economy and democracy, it conceived evidence-informed, innovative research to improve the lives of people across the nation while providing robust scrutiny of Government policy. Its print and online current affairs magazine the welsh agenda cemented its status as a key platform for debates about issues that matter to Wales. Through free events and research, the IWA also helped create spaces for meaningful democratic engagement.
In its work to green the economy, the IWA advocated for renewable energy to become a major economic driver for Wales, charting a course for delivery in Re-energising Wales and its follow-on project Renewing the Focus. Building on its work to strengthen Wales’ democracy, it made the case for substantial investment into Wales’ media and set out steps to reinvigorate democratic participation.
‘In these polarised times I am proud that over the past seven years the IWA has maintained a truly independent position.’
During her tenure Auriol Miller has served on a number of advisory groups including the Health Foundation’s Covid Impact Inquiry, and the Future Generations Commissioner’s report on Future Trends and Inequalities. She is currently one of the eight expert panellists supporting the work of the Independent Commission on the Constitutional Future of Wales, and has recently been nominated as a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.
Miller said: ‘In these polarised times I am proud that over the past seven years the IWA has maintained a truly independent position. In a period of immense political upheaval, this has enabled us to maintain a space for high quality, respected discourse on Wales’ economy and democracy, holding a vital platform for debate.
‘Alongside this, we have continued to serve our members, who are vital partners in all of our work, whilst further growing and diversifying our membership, positioning it not only as a source of up-to-date information about Wales, but also a platform to engage in informed debate on matters of policy, politics and culture.’
Bethan Darwin, Chair of the IWA: ‘I am very grateful to Auriol for her leadership of the IWA over the last seven years, during which time it has continued to fill a substantial gap in Wales, that of independent, evidence-informed research and outreach work, which has tangibly impacted policy outcomes. I am also delighted that Auriol has agreed to join the Board of the IWA upon stepping down as Director.
The IWA Board will be recruiting for a new Director in the New Year. In the meantime, after Auriol’s departure, Joe Rossiter and Maria Drave will be interim co-Directors.’
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