Kirsty Williams

Former Member of the Senedd

Kirsty Williams CBE served in the Senedd (Welsh Parliament) for 22 years, prior to which she was appointed to advise Ministers on how the new democratic structure should operate. During her parliamentary career she served as chair of a number of committees including Heath and Social Services, Environment and Standards of Conduct. 

In 2008 she became the first ever female leader of a main political party in Wales, a position she held for eight years. 

In 2016 she was appointed Minister for Education, the only Liberal Democrat in a Labour Government, leading a programme of education reform and steering the sector through the first 18 months of the global pandemic. During Kirsty’s tenure as Education Minister she championed and developed a number of new international partnerships between Wales and Vietnam, the USA and regions of India and Spain.

Kirsty has considerable legislative experience being the only Senedd member to successfully introduce new laws to the statute book as both a private member and Government Minister. Her political interests include, education, health and the representation of women and young people. 

Since stepping down from the Senedd in May 2021, Kirsty has been appointed to chair the Advisory Group of Wales’ new International Learning Exchange Programme, a multi million pound initiative to replace Erasmus+ opportunities. She is also a Commissioner to the Independent Commission on the Constitutional Future of Wales. 

Kirsty is also a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Cardiff University.