Our trustees

The Welsh Centre for International Affairs is a registered charity (no. 1156822) and is governed by a Board of Trustees.

The trustees meet regularly as a full board, as well as delegating certain responsibilities to the Finance and Risk, Staffing and Remuneration and Governance Committees.

 

Darren RalphDarren Ralph- Co-Chair

Darren has specific responsibility for Equality related matters as a trustee for the WCIA. His background in equality and human rights is shaped by various roles at the Valleys Regional Equality Council and later as one of the Community Cohesion lead’s for Wales. He now works as a Civil Servant managing All Wales remit.

His earlier interests include World Religions and Eastern Cultures born from extensive travels in India as a child. He has contributed to the debate on declining patterns of faith and is the author of Secularising Religion.

Darren is keen to use his academic research, professional experiences and interests in international affairs to encourage global dialogue and activity through the mutual understanding of fairness, decency and respect.

 

Rhiannon Hardiman Co-Chair

Rhiannon has been a Trustee since 2015 and is currently Co-Chair of the Board. A Welsh public affairs specialist, Rhiannon manages active travel charity Living Streets Cymru. For 10 years Rhiannon headed up an EU-funded Rural Development Programme leading on strategy; multi-agency partnerships; community development and grant giving; and raising multi-million funding packages for programme delivery.

Rhiannon worked in the USA for one year as part of her tourism management undergraduate studies and over 2019/20 is studying an MSc Econ in Welsh Government & Politics with Cardiff University’s Wales Governance Centre.

 

Peter Sargent – Treasurer

Peter is currently the Consultancy Director at Mango. He is a qualified chartered management accountant, with over 14 years’ experience in the NGO sector. He has lived and worked extensively in east and central Africa and Russia as an NGO finance specialist and freelance consultant before moving back to his current base in Cardiff.

His particular interest is building the capacity of NGOs in improving grant and risk management strategies at all levels. He has worked with Mango as a finance trainer and consultant, running courses in French and English around the world and offering insights, tools and new approaches to finance issues. He now leads Mango’s expanding Consultancy Service, while also delivering consultancy assignments directly, which involves managing a global team of specialists to help respond to NGOs needs for finance expertise.

 

Sara Whittam – Secretary

Originally from Ynys Mon, Sara has been based in Cardiff with her family for 15 years. Studying languages and linguistics at the University of Leeds led to working and living in France with a stint at the European Parliament.

Sara has 10 years’ experience of working in higher education policy and strategy at the University of Bristol and Cardiff University, and is currently seconded to a role developing medical education provision in north Wales.

 

Chrishan Kamalan

Chrishan has been a member of the Board since 2013 and he had previously been the chair of the Centre’s Legal Affairs Committee. He is a civil servant at the Welsh Government and has a legal professional background. In 2016, he was unanimously elected to be the Chair of the Board of Trustees.

As he is an employee of one of our funding bodies, he takes no part at all in related, strategic decision making which is left to the other trustees. At present, Chrishan is completing an executive education Certificate in Public Leadership from the US Harvard Kennedy School in Cambridge near Boston, Massachusetts

 

 

Claire Cunliffe

As a trustee for the WCIA Claire has specific focus on engagement with young people and those from minority ethnic backgrounds.

She has a long-standing interest in international affairs, which is reflected in her academic background in International Development with International Relations. Following a period of time studying, living and volunteering in Ghana, Claire has gained first-hand experience of development work at an operational level.

Claire currently works for the South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) as a Senior Project Officer. Prior to her position with the Commissioner’s Office, she worked for the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) in the field of homelessness and supported housing for vulnerable people. She also acts as a trustee for the Welsh Refugee Council and is Vice President of the Council of Wales for Voluntary Youth Services (CWVYS).

 

Simon Pickard

Simon works as Portfolio Manager for the Research for Health in Humanitarian Crises programme within Elrha. Prior to this role he spent 8 years as International Development Fund Manager at the Cardiff-based grant giving charity the Waterloo Foundation. He has experience of grant management and partnership working across international development and humanitarian themes, working with a wide variety of international and local NGOs and academic institutions operating across Africa and Asia.

Simon has represented the WCIA on the Partnership Board of the Hub Cymru Africa programme since it was founded in 2015.

 

Collin Williams

 Colin Williams

Brought up and educated in South Wales, UK and Canada, virtually the whole of Colin’s working life has been in Africa, substantively in Zambia, Tanzania, Somalia, Uganda, Malawi and Zimbabwe, firstly with the DFID (as it was) orbit, then ActionAid and now, mostly, with the Egmont Trust which is a grant making charity, headquartered in Cardiff. The Egmont Trust gives grants to inspirational organisations based in east and southern Africa that are responding to the devastating and enduring impact of HIV and AIDS.

 

Eira Jepson

Eira is a PhD student at Cardiff University’s School of Modern Languages, specialising in foreign language learning in schools in Wales. Her research aims to explore ways of improving policy and practice in Wales to promote language learning as an important skill, as well as an integral aspect of global education and citizenship.

Having grown up in North Wales as a bilingual Welsh and English speaker, Eira’s interest in multilingualism and multiculturalism has taken her to study and work abroad in Europe on several occasions, including in France, Spain, Switzerland and Belgium.

Before starting her PhD, Eira worked in policy and communications in the third and private sector in Cardiff, and at the European Commission in Brussels, with a focus on the area of equality.

 

Catrin Wyn Edwards

Catrin Edwards is a Lecturer in International Politics at the Department of International Politics, Aberystwyth University. She previously worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the School of Political Studies, University of Ottawa. She was awarded her PhD in International Politics from the Department of International Politics, Aberystwyth University in 2014 for a thesis on language-in-education policy and immigration in Catalonia, Wales and Quebec. Catrin has spent time as a Visiting Scholar at UQAM, Montreal, where she was based at the ‘Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire sur la diversité au Québec’, and the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. Catrin’s research interests include language policy and politics, immigration policy, linguistic diversity and multiculturalism, citizenship and sub-state governance. She also holds a MSc Econ in European Governance and Public Policy from the school of European Studies, Cardiff University.

Prior to undertaking the PhD, Catrin worked as European Policy Officer at the Welsh Language Board.

 

 

Emma West

As a trustee for the WCIA Emma has a specific focus on heritage, working to protect and promote the history of the Temple of Peace and the organisations within it.

In her role as a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Birmingham, Emma has worked with the WCIA’s Wales for Peace project to develop a new tour of the Temple of Peace based on her archival research.

Together with Wales for Peace, Gentle/Radical and the Being Human Festival, Emma was one of the co-organisers of ‘A New Mecca’, a reinterpretation of the Temple’s opening ceremony as part of 2018’s #Temple80 celebrations. Her interview with Huw Edwards about the Temple’s history appeared on BBC4/BBC1 Wales in November 2018.

Emma has a BA, MA and PhD from Cardiff University and lives in Riverside.