Members of the Board

Rhodri Glyn Thomas (President)

A minister of religion, Rhodri was elected to the National Assembly in May 1999. When Plaid Cymru entered into a coalition government with Labour in July 2007, he was appointed Minister for Heritage but later resigned the position in 2008. He chaired four Assembly Committees and served as a Commissioner and a member of the European Committee of the Regions, and in 2013 Rhodri received the Campaigner of the Year Award for his work in protecting 320,000 households in Wales from having to pay towards Council Tax Benefit. He stood down from the Assembly in April 2016 having served 17 years as AM for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr.

Meri Huws (Vice-President)

After studying Law and Politics at Aberystwyth University, she studied for a postgraduate degree at Oxford before training to become a social worker. In 1999, Meri was appointed Head of Lifelong Learning at Bangor University and later became Pro Vice-Chancellor. She was Pro Vice-Chancellor at University of Wales Trinity Saint David until being appointed Welsh Language Commissioner in April 2012, a post which she held until March 2019. She is a member of the Board of Shelter Cymru, Aberystwyth University Council, Vocational Training Charitable Trust, Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol and the Lord Chancellor’s Recruitment Advisory Committee on Magistrates.

Lee Yale-Helms (Treasurer)

Mr Lee Yale-Helms lives in Holywell, Flintshire, and works as an Associate Director for CIPFA’s Financial Advisory Services; he is also an associate lecturer in accounting, finance and economics at the University of Manchester.  Lee has experience of fundraising, and has helped a number of organisations to obtain funding form the Heritage Lottery Fund. He is also active in his local community in fundraising for the Riding Association for the Disabled, and is Treasurer of a local junior football team.  Prior to working for CIPFA, Lee worked for Pricewaterhouse Coopers, specialising in corporate governance, and before that, was a Senior Accountant with Cheshire County Council.

Elizabeth Siberry

Liz studied history in London and Cambridge and was awarded a PhD in 1982.  She was a civil servant in London, as a departmental HR Director (2003-08) and Director of the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (2008-11). She is a trustee of the Brecknock Society and Brecknock Arts Trust, and a member of the Council of the University of Wales.  As a historian, working on aspects of medieval history and the history of Brecknock, Liz uses the National Library regularly and co-edited 'Henry Vaughan and the Usk Valley' (Logaston, 2016).  She contributes regularly to the journal Brycheiniog and is a member of its editorial Board.

Hugh Thomas

Former Chief Executive of Mid Glamorgan County Council, Clerk to the South Wales Police Authority, Clerk of the Lieutenancy and Hon. Secretary for the Assembly of Welsh Counties. He chaired public bodies and voluntary organisations at national level including in the health and higher education sectors. He was a non-Executive Director of Welsh Water and Chairman of the Regulatory Board for Wales. He is an Independent Member of the Standards and Ethics Committee and Vice-Chairman of the Audit Committee of Cardiff Council. Elected President and Fellow of the National Eisteddfod and was Prior of The Order of St John in Wales. Awarded the C.B.E. in 1992 and served as the Honorary Consul of Japan in Wales.

Iwan Davies

A native of Pontyberem, Carmarthenshire, Iwan Davies was Director of Leisure at two local councils in south-east England. He returned to Wales to ensure Welsh-medium education for his children and became a senior lecturer in Leisure Management at Swansea Institute. He was Head of Culture and Tourism at the City and County of Swansea, responsible for the County’s Libraries and Museums services and the West Glamorgan Archives. He led the Council's input to the development of the National Waterfront Museum and the Wales National Pool, and was Chairman of the Chief Leisure and Culture Officers of Wales group.

Lord Aberdare

Lord (Alastair) Aberdare is an independent member of the House of Lords.  He is strongly committed to promoting awareness of the history and culture of Wales. His other principal interests include:education, skills and employment; the digital economy; the arts, especially classical music; and first aid. He spent 21 years with IBM, before leaving to set up (successively) public affairs and reputation management consultancies, and then a business providing training for unemployed and disadvantaged young Londoners. Alastair is a Trustee of St John Cymru–Wales, an Honorary Fellow of Cardiff University and a Deputy Lieutenant of Dyfed.

Richard Houdmont

Richard was appointed to the Board in December 2015. Until 2015 he was Director for Wales at CIM (Chartered Institute of Marketing). He is a Fellow of CIM and Chair of Poetry Wales Press Ltd, which publishes under the Seren imprint. Richard is a member of the advisory board of NetNeutrals EU, which provides Online Dispute Resolution services. He publishes children’s books under the Houdmont imprint. Following the establishment of the National Centre for Teaching Welsh, the Welsh Government appointed Richard to a Scrutiny Committee to advise on such matters as value-for-money and the Centre's response to Welsh Government policies.

Gwilym Dyfri Jones

Gwilym is a native of Aberystwyth, and was brought up within a stone’s throw of the National Library of Wales. Gwilym is Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s with responsibility for the Welsh language and bilingualism. Gwilym has twenty five years’ experience of working within the higher education sector in Wales, and during that time, has worked as Head of the Welsh Department in Trinity College, and later as Dean of the Education and Training Faculty in Trinity Saint David’s. Prior to that, he spent a period of time in Ysgol Gyfun Gŵyr, Swansea, as Head of the Welsh Department.

Steve Williams

Head of Libraries, Archives, Culture and Arts at Swansea University. After leading the development of the Bay Library, on the new £450m Bay Campus, Steve is developing three key areas of service: Swansea University Libraries; Culture and Arts; and Digital Humanities. With a degree in Russian, and master’s in Systems Thinking, Steve is a Fellow of the British Computer Society, an Executive Board member and Trustee of the Society of College, National and University Libraries, a member of the Wales Higher Education Libraries Forum, and sits on various University committees and project groups. He is a Governor of Ysgol Gyfun Gŵyr, a local Welsh medium secondary school.

Eleri Twynog Humphries

A native of Lampeter, Eleri manages a children’s theatre company, In Character, which commissions and produces shows for schools and heritage sites based on characters from Welsh history. She is a Director of the Children’s Welsh History Festival – an annual festival which works in partnership with heritage bodies to stage shows and workshops about the history of Wales in heritage sites across Wales.  Eleri worked as Head of Marketing and Events for S4C for twelve years, with responsibility for producing and delivering the marketing strategy, and contributed regularly to the channel’s wider strategy. Eleri has also worked as Marketing Officer for the National Eisteddfod and for National Museum Wales.

Michael Cavanagh

Mike has lived and worked in Pembrokeshire since 2012 after moving from Lincolnshire where he was involved in large heritage and library projects, including the multi million pound project to renovate Lincoln Castle.  Originally from Bolton in Lancashire, Mike has worked hard to improve his Welsh language skills since moving to Wales and he was honoured to win the Pembrokeshire Welsh Learner of the Year award in 2015. Mike is currently Head of Culture, Leisure, Tourism and Registration Services with Pembokeshire County Council. He’s also a Trustee of PATCH, a local food bank and hardship charity, and a Trustee of Pembrokeshire Historical Trust.

Quentin Howard

Quentin is a broadcast engineer, award winning radio presenter and and experienced media executive.  He is recognised as the driving force behind DAB in the UK and led the development of DAB overseas. As Programme Director for the country’s largest radio group, he managed the output of 30 radio stations and was responsible for building Classic FM where he was a presenter. He modernised the Ministry of Defence’s worldwide TV and radio systems, delivering TV via internet and Wi-Fi for British Forces serving overseas.  He created digital video archive services for the Ministry of Defence and is a Trustee for the British Wireless for the Blind Fund. Quentin is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology.

Carl Williams

Carl is a senior officer with the police, and is originally from Caerphilly. He studied Welsh at Aberystwyth University, and following a brief period as a secondary school teacher, joined Dyfed Powys Police in 2006. Carl has worked in numerous roles with the police from Strategic Firearms Command to Staff Officer to the Policing Minister in the Home Office and is currently Chief of Staff to Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary. Carl has an MSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice and is studying for a professional doctorate in Criminal Justice at the University of Central Lancashire.