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Professor Laura McAllister

Professor Laura McAllister

Professor of Public Policy

School of Law and Politics

+44 (0)29 2087 5426
10/0.03, 8-10 North Road, Cathays, Cardiff, CF10 3DY
Welsh speaking
Media commentator
Available for postgraduate supervision


I am Professor of Public Policy and the Governance of Wales at the Wales Governance Centre in the School of Law and Politics. My research focuses on Welsh politics and elections, devolution, electoral reform, and gender in politics. I am particularly interested in the practical application of my research and work very closely with the Senedd (Welsh Parliament) on constitutional and political matters, most recently as Chair of the Expert Panel on Assembly Electoral Reform: Our report, A Parliament that Works for Wales can be viewed here:

I have also worked with Welsh Government on various projects including Diversity in Democracy, preparations for Votes at 16 and promoting diversity in local government elections.

I have always worked on external roles alongside my academic work, as I am very committed to the impact of research and its benefits for citizens.

I hold several senior roles in sports governance.  I am currently Board Director at the Football Association of Wales Trust and Deputy Chair of UEFA's Women's Football Committee. I am standing for election as a UEFA representative on FIFA Council in 2021.

I was Chair of Sport Wales between 20120-16, and a Board Member of UK Sport, from 2003-6 and from 2010-16.

I am a Trustee of the Institute of Welsh Affairs, a non executive director of Goodson Thomas and Chair of the Welsh Sports Hall of Fame.

I am a regular media commentator and political analyst on Welsh, network and global media. I regularly appear on BBC TV, Radio 4, 5, Wales, Cymru, World Service; ITV; Channel 4; Channel 5; Times Radio; Bloomberg.


Professor Laura McAllister CBE, FRSA, FLSW

Professor of Public Policy and the Governance of Wales at Cardiff University's Wales Governance Centre. Expert on devolution, Welsh politics and elections, public policy and leadership, gender, representation and the feminisation of politics.

Fomerly Professor of Goverance at the University of Liverpool.

Chair of the National Assembly Expert Panel on Electoral Reform, 2017.

Former member of Assembly Remuneration Board, Independent Panel on AMs Pay and Support, the Richard Commission on the Powers and Electoral Arrangements for the National Assembly for Wales.

Western Mail/Wales Online columnist and media commentator on politics, elections and sport.

Current Director of Football Association of Wales Trust.

Deputy Chair of UEFA Women’s Football Committee and member of UEFA women’s strategy working group.

Formerly Chair of Sport Wales and board member of UK Sport.

Former Wales international football player and team captain with 24 caps.

Chair of the Welsh Sports Hall of Fame.

Board trustee of Institute of Welsh Affairs.

Non executive director of Goodson Thomas Executive Search.

Advisory Board member Wales Centre for Public Policy.

Honours and awards

Honorary degrees and fellowships from Bangor, Cardiff, Cardiff Met, Swansea, Swansea Trinity St David’s, South Wales universities.

Fellow of Learned Society of Wales and the Royal Society of the Arts.

Awarded CBE in Queen's Birthday Honours, 2016.

Professional memberships

Political Studies Association (PSA)

Learned Society of Wales (LSW)

Royal Society for the Arts (RSA)

Academic positions

2016-present: Professor, Cardiff University

1998-2016: Professor of Governance, University of Liverpool Management School (Lecturer, 1998, Senior Lecturer, 2001, Reader 2003)

1994-1998:  Lecturer, Cardiff University

Speaking engagements

A selection of recent keynote speeches at major conferences and webinars:

  • Bevan Foundation
  • Community Housing Wales
  • Institute of Welsh Affairs
  • Academi Cymru
  • Public Health Wales
  • British Council International Sports Diplomacy
  • Cardiff Metropolitan University
  • Swansea University

Committees and reviewing

Grant reviewer, ESRC

Journal reviewer, JLS, Political Studies, BJPIR, Parliamentary Affairs.











In academic session 2020/21, I am module leader for:

- Introduction to Government

- Politics in Practice placement module

- Law and Governance in Practice placement module.

I also teach on the MSc in Welsh Politics and supervise PhD students.

I primarily research Welsh politics and elections. I am specifically interested in the wider process of constitutional change, electoral reform and the internal architecture of devolution.

I also work on gender and politics, specifically gender representation in parliaments and gender sensitive institutions. I have researched gender quotas in electoral systems, job share and extending the franchise to younger citizens.

I publish in a range of politics, public administration, governance, and gender studies journals.


I currently have three PhD students working on plurilingual education policy in Wales, sports governance and local democracy.

I welcome enquiries and proposals for supervision from prospective doctoral applicants interested in pursuing doctoral studies in any of the fields of my expertise, and related interdisciplinary areas. I am particularly interested in supervising PhD students in the following areas:

Welsh politics and elections, devolution, UK constitutional change, electoral reform, gender and politics, votes at 16, devolved public policy, sports policy and governance.