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Kirsty Williams appointed Distinguished Visiting Fellow

3 November 2021

Kirsty Williams has been appointed a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Cardiff University.

The former Welsh Government Education Minister has been awarded the Fellowship in recognition of her distinguished service in politics and public life.

Ms Williams said: “I am extremely honoured to receive this award from Cardiff University. I look forward very much to supporting the School of Social Sciences, at a time when the expertise of those at the University are needed more than ever, as Wales looks to recover from the global pandemic.”

Kirsty Williams served as Minister for Education in the Welsh Government from 2016 to 2021. She was a Liberal Democrat Member of the Senedd from 1999 to 2021, and previously served as the Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats from December 2008 to May 2016, and as Chair of the Assembly's Health and Social Services Committee from 1999 to 2003.

Welcoming Ms Williams’ appointment, Cardiff University President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Riordan said: “The University has built a longstanding and highly rewarding friendship with Kirsty Williams over many years. Kirsty combines a deep knowledge of the HE sector with a breadth of experience across politics and public life. Her insight will prove a valuable asset in shaping a range of University policies and activities in future.”

Cardiff’s Distinguished Visiting Fellowships are typically five-year appointments that recognize distinction in the fields of industry, commerce, government, research establishments or the arts.

Ms Williams’ role will be aligned with the School of Social Sciences, an internationally recognised centre of high-quality teaching and research.

“We're delighted to welcome Kirsty's appointment as Distinguished Visiting Fellow,” said Professor Tom Hall, Head of the School of Social Sciences.

“As a former Welsh Government Education Minister, Kirsty's brings deep insight into the HE sector in Wales and a wealth of public policy expertise that can inform and energise a major tranche of research in the School of Social Sciences. Her insight could also lend itself to groups within SPARK - the Social Science Research Park - and across the University more widely.”

SPARK brings together 12 social science research groups to tackle major societal challenges, from climate change and child health to crime and security. The groups move to a bespoke innovation hub - sbarc | spark – on Cardiff Innovation Campus later this year.

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