The IWA is looking for four new Board members

Do you want to help build a better Wales for the future?

The Trustees of the Institute of Welsh Affairs (IWA) are excited to be looking for four new members of our Board.

We are particularly keen to ensure we continue to 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 we will also buddy you up with an existing Trustee while you settle in. 

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

To apply, please send us your CV and a short covering letter (no more than a side of A4) setting out what you would bring to the Board. Please mark this for the attention of the Nominations Committee and send to [email protected] before 9am on Friday 17 March 2023. Interviews will be held in person in Cardiff on Monday 27 March 2023.

An inclusive, welcoming, all Wales organisation

We list below the range of specific skills, experience and perspectives that we are looking for. We know it’s a wide range of options. This is because we are thinking both about the skills that we value of some of our longer standing trustees who will be stepping down in 2023 as well as about some of the other skills, experience and perspectives we’d like to bring onto the Board. So please don’t worry if you’ve only got one or two of these – they might be just the ones we need.  

Skills, experience and perspectives

  • Acute political acumen – you’ve got a good handle on what’s going on politically in Wales, in Westminster and in the rest of the UK
  • Commercial and business acumen – you can help us further develop our income-generating potential
  • Experience of sales – you can help us reach even more people with our magazine, events and training
  • Experience of fundraising or social enterprises – you can help us source new funding
  • Economist – the numbers always matter to us 
  • Democratic engagement – you know that democracy matters and you’ve got experience in strengthening and supporting it in innovative ways
  • Climate Change – it’s the challenge of our time. Come and help us contribute to safeguarding Wales’ future
  • Fluent Welsh speaker – Come and help us realise our ambition to be a bilingual organisation by 2025 
  • Based outside south east Wales – we are always keen to ensure we are considering issues that matter for all of Wales. They are different depending on where you are.
  • Politically engaged in a specific political party/ies at a Wales/UK level – it doesn’t matter which party – we are interested in all of them
  • Under 30 – young people are the future of Wales.
  • Not educated to university level – there’s a perception that you have to have a university degree to work at or be a trustee of a think tank. You don’t. 
  • Our organisation aims to be representative of the people of Wales. We would really like to hear from people from under-represented groups. 

We would also like to set up an advisory group to support the Board. Your skills and experience may be really useful to this too, even if you’re not appointed to the Board this time around. If you’re interested in this, please let us know.

About the IWA

We are the Institute of Welsh Affairs, Wales’ leading independent think tank. We were founded in 1987 and we 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 proud to be an accredited Living Wage employer, a signatory to Zero Racism Wales and we have Trusted Charity status. We have a staff team of 8 people.

Our Vision

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

Our Mission

We are an independent think tank working to make Wales a better place to live and work. 

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 our priority areas:
    • a strong and confident democracy
    • a successful, green and fair economy.

Our Values

Our values underpin everything that we do:

  • We are independent 
  • We owe no allegiance to any political or economic interest group 
  • We aim to be inclusive and diverse
  • Our work is informed by evidence
  • Our only interest is in seeing Wales flourish as a country in which to work and live.

Our work

We are currently working on delivering a number of impactful and influential policy projects. These are scrutinising Wales’ fiscal powers, labour market relations and how to provide communities with power over their local assets. We are exploring how to strengthen Wales’ media landscape and strengthen our democracy. We are also helping to open up and inform the ongoing discussion on Wales’ constitutional future.

Over the next three years we want to continue to explore ways of making Wales better. We will be focussing on how Wales can develop a programme for a fairer, greener and more successful economy and a stronger, more confident democracy. We will also be putting a magnifying glass to potential constitutional reform and intergovernmental relations with the rest of the UK.

As a member of our Board, your role is to help set the strategy for the organisation, and to secure and focus our resources on the challenges facing Wales in the future.

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.

All IWA Trustees should demonstrate the following:

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.


Board members serve a four-year term to then 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.


In-person meetings are held in the IWA offices in Cardiff, Wales. We support our trustees to join Board meetings virtually when they are unable to attend in person. 

Time commitment

We want to be upfront about what’s expected of our Board. We expect Trustees to attend a minimum of 4 x 2 hour Board meetings per year (two online, two in person, requiring a maximum of 2 hours preparation each) and an annual in-person Board awayday. Once Trustees are fully inducted, there is an option to sit on a subgroup, though not all trustees do so. 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, some of which – such as our debates series – take place in the evenings.

Download the full Board recruitment information pack in English or in Welsh.

Issued February 2023