Do you want to help shape Wales’s future?

The Institute of Welsh Affairs is looking for two new Trustees to join our Board as we plan ahead to a couple of long standing trustees stepping down over the next 18 months.  We are particularly keen to ensure we have a diverse range of experience and expertise to oversee the next stage of this influential think tank’s development.  


We’d like to stress that no previous Board experience is necessary.  We have a full Trustee induction programme and will buddy you up with an existing Trustee while you find your feet. We would not expect any single individual to have everything that we are looking for – so please let us know what your particular strength is.


If you are interested in an informal discussion about what the role entails, please get in touch with Auriol Miller, IWA Director, at who would be pleased to arrange a chat with a current Trustee.  


To apply, please send your CV and a short covering letter marked for the attention of the Nominations Committee to before 5pm on Thursday 30 April 2020. Video interviews will be arranged with candidates after this date.


Specific skills and experience

  • Do you have lived experience of race, migration or disability? If so, we really want to hear from you. We’ve got a good gender and age balance on our Board and are working to ensure we include as many diverse perspectives as possible on our Board – political, economic, social – as well as the particular skills that an organisation needs to reflect a diverse Wales.
  • Are you an up and coming or a more experienced economist, looking to play a more active role in helping to influence policy?
  • Have you got a professional financial qualification and do you take pride in supporting an organisation’s financial sustainability?

We warmly welcome applications from younger people, from people right across Wales, and especially from outside south east Wales.  We are conscious that many of our current trustees are south Wales based, and as an all Wales organisation we are working actively to remedy this.  


About the IWA

We are the Institute of Welsh Affairs, Wales’ leading independent think tank. We were founded in 1987 and bring together experience and expertise from all backgrounds to collaborate on the most important issues facing Wales. We are a membership organisation, independent of government and political parties. We are a charity (no. 1078435) and a company limited by guarantee (no. 02151006).  We are an accredited Living Wage employer and have a small staff team of 8 people.
Our strategy is to:

  • provide open, inclusive and informed platforms for robust debate
  • provide opportunities for people in Wales to increase their knowledge of how decisions are made and to make their voices heard
  • develop and secure commitment to implementing ideas that can transform Wales in 3 priority areas

IWA Trustee Person specification

The Board of Trustees are jointly and severally responsible for the overall governance and strategic direction of the Charity, its financial health, the probity of its activities and developing the organisation’s aims, objectives and goals in accordance with the governing document, legal and regulatory guidelines. In addition, Trustees must demonstrate an understanding and acceptance of Nolan’s seven principles of public life: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership. 


The statutory duties of a Trustee are:

  • To ensure the organisation complies with its governing document
  • To ensure that the organisation pursues its objectives as defined in its governing document
  • To ensure the organisation applies its resources exclusively in pursuance of its objectives.  The Charity must not spend money on activities that are not included in its own objectives, no matter how ‘charitable’ and ‘worthwhile’ those activities are.
  • To contribute actively to the Board of Trustees’ role in giving firm strategic direction to the organisation, setting overall policy, defining goals and setting targets and evaluating performance against agreed targets
  • To safeguard the good name and values of the organisation
  • To ensure the effective and efficient administration of the organisation
  • To ensure the financial stability of the organisation
  • To protect and manage the property of the organisation and to ensure the proper investment of the organisation’s funds
  • If the organisation employs staff, to appoint the Director and monitor his/her performance.


In addition and with other Trustees, to hold the charity “in trust” for the future by:

  • Ensuring that the Charity has a clear vision, mission and strategic direction and is focused on achieving these
  • Being responsible for the performance of the Charity and for its “corporate” behaviour; ensuring that the charity complies with all legal and regulatory requirements
  • Acting as guardians of the Charity’s assets, both tangible and intangible, taking all due care over their security, deployment and proper application
  • Ensuring that the Charity’s governance is of the highest possible standard.


In addition to the above statutory duties, each Trustee should use any specific skills, knowledge or experience they have to help the Board of Trustees reach sound decisions. This may involve:

  • Scrutinising Board papers
  • Leading discussions
  • Focusing on key issues
  • Providing guidance on new initiatives
  • Sitting on recruitment, disciplinary and grievance panels as appropriate
  • Other issues in which the Trustee has special expertise.

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

All Trustees should also be aware of and understand their individual and collective responsibilities, and should not be overly reliant on one or more individual trustees in any particular aspect of the governance of the charity.


Knowledge, skills and understanding

  • Commitment to the organisation and a willingness to devote the necessary time and effort
  • Preparedness to make unpopular recommendations to the board, and a willingness to speak their mind
  • Willingness to be available to staff for advice and enquiries on an ad hoc basis
  • Good, independent judgement, effective decision making and strategic vision
  • An understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship
  • An ability to work effectively as a member of a team
  • Demonstrable willingness to build and sustain relationships with key stakeholders and colleagues to achieve organisational objectives
  • A track record of commitment to promoting equality and diversity 
  • A history of fairness and the ability to respect confidences
  • A shared understanding that they are there to act in the best interests of the IWA.


Personal qualities

  • Demonstrate a strong and visible passion and commitment to the Charity
  • Exhibit strong interpersonal and relationship- and network-building abilities and be comfortable in an ambassadorial role
  • Demonstrate tact and diplomacy, with the ability to listen and engage effectively
  • Ability to foster and promote a collaborative team environment 
  • Ability to commit time to conduct the role well, including attending events out of office hours a few times a year in addition to Board meetings and very occasional travel.


Terms and Remuneration

The Charity’s board members will serve a four-year term to be eligible for reappointment for one additional term. Trustee positions are unpaid, however all out of pocket expenses incurred in undertaking Board business can be fully reimbursed.


Location and time commitment 

Meetings are normally held in Cardiff, Wales.  We support our trustees to join Board meetings virtually when they are unable to attend in person. We expect Trustees to attend a minimum of 4 x 2 hour Board meetings per year (requiring a maximum of 2 hours preparation each) and an annual Board awayday (no overnight required). 

Once Trustees are fully inducted, there is an option to sit on one of two subgroups, though not all trustees do so. These subgroups meet quarterly for 2 hours, requiring a maximum 2 hours preparation each time. Board members are also invited to 2 IWA members’ meetings a year and are of course welcome at all other IWA events.