Our People

Our people make us what we are.  Find out more about our staff and trustees below.



Victoria Winckler


Dr Victoria Winckler has been the Director of the Bevan Foundation since 2002, establishing it as Wales’ most exciting and innovative think-tank.

Victoria is a leading contributor to public policy in Wales. She developed the proposals that secured EU Objective 1 status for West Wales and the Valleys, initiated the Welsh Government’s Heads of the Valleys Programme and spearheaded the Welsh Government’s actions to tackle poverty. Recently she has generated robust proposals for new Welsh taxes, devolving some social security benefits and growth hubs for Wales’ most deprived areas.

Victoria frequently gives expert evidence to Assembly Committees, contributes to UK-wide initiatives such as the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s Anti-Poverty Strategy Task Group, comments in online articles and in the media, and is a sought-after speaker. She is currently a member of the Ministerial Tax Advisory Group, and a board member of Traveline Cymru.

Victoria previously held roles at the Welsh Local Government Association, Mid Glamorgan County Council and Cardiff University. She was a non-executive director of Cwm Taf Local Health Board for 5 years and a member of board of the Wales Council for Voluntary Action for 3 years.

Victoria holds a BA (Hons) in geography, MSc in Town Planning and a PhD.

Nisreen Mansour

Policy and Research Officer

Nisreen Mansour joined the Bevan Foundation in January 2015, having previously worked as Parliamentary Assistant for an MP and as a Researcher for Newsdirect.

Nisreen has led the Bevan Foundation’s work on new, devolved taxes and the Living Wage, and has also contributed to the Foundation’s consultation responses e.g. on Land Transaction Tax and prepared briefings e.g. on the environment.

Nisreen has a first class honours degree in history and politics from Queen Mary University of London, and is pursuing a higher degree in economics.

Sharon Hill

Office Manager

Sharon joined the Bevan Foundation as Office Manager in April 2016 after a career in local government that included working on Communities First, managing EU funding and liaising with local businesses. Sharon is responsible for the smooth running of all aspects of the Bevan Foundation’s office, from keeping us stocked with tea to managing events.

Sharon holds an MSc in Community Regeneration and is also a magistrate.

Rachael Simmonds

Finance Officer

Rachael joined the Bevan Foundation in 2010 as Finance Officer, from a background in local government including in working in social services finance, rent and council tax.

Rachael now manages all aspects of the Foundation’s income and expenditure and is qualified to NVQ level 3 in business and administration.

Rachael took a career break in 2012, returning to the Bevan Foundation in 2014.



Vivienne Sugar


Vivienne Sugar works part time as Director of her own management consultancy, working for central and local government across the UK. She also serves on the Council of The Property Ombudsman. She was Chair of Consumer Focus Wales until April 2014 when the UK Government transferred its functions to Citizens Advice, and until December 2013 was Chair of the National Regeneration Panel advising the Welsh Government. She served eight years as Pro Chancellor of Swansea University, seven years as a local authority Chief Executive at the City and County of Swansea and prior to that was Director of Housing in Cardiff and Newport Councils.

She is a Fellow of the Institute of Housing and member of SOLACE, and has acted as a mentor for a number of people currently working in public services in Wales.


Cerys Furlong

Vice Chair

Cerys is the Chief Executive of Chwarae Teg and was previously Director of the Learning and Work Institute Cymru, the national charity for adult education. Cerys was previously Assistant Director of the Open University in Wales. Cerys has worked across post compulsory education for over ten years, and has experience across the post-16 education and training sector, local government and higher education in Wales. Cerys is also a governor of one of Wales’ largest and most diverse comprehensive schools.

Mark Hooper


Mark has stepped aside from his role during the General Election 2017.

Mark Hooper is the founder of indycube, a community interest company which provides flexible workspace to freelancers and micro-businesses at over 20 locations in Wales. Prior to establishing indycube he worked as a Management Accountant, supporting SMEs across South Wales with their business planning and providing investment support. Additionally, Mark has extensive experience in the food retail and wholesale sectors, having held several senior posts at Sainsbury’s.

Mark is also a founding member of Cardiff City Supporters Trust.

Sandy Blair


Sandy Blair is former Chief Executive of the Welsh Local Government Association and Newport City Council. Sandy was until recently a board member of the Health and Safety Executive as well as a Trustee of Growing Space, a member of the Governing Body of the Church in Wales and Chairman of the Monmouth Diocesan Board of Finance. He was awarded the CBE for Services to Local Government in Wales in 2005.

Stephen Brooks


Steve Brooks is the National Director of Sustrans Cymru, the charity making it easier for people to walk and cycle in Wales.  Prior to joining Sustrans, Steve was director of the Electoral Reform Society in Wales; and is a former head of the Welsh Government’s independent advisory body on sustainable development (SDC), and Head of Oxfam Cymru.

Duncan Forbes


Duncan Forbes is Chief Executive of Bron Afon Community Housing, a community-owned mutual social enterprise. He brings his extensive experience in local government and the third sector to the board. A qualified solicitor, Duncan has co-authored several guides on charity law and was previously the County Borough Solicitor at Torfaen local authority. Additionally, Duncan serves on the Torfaen Local Service Board, leading on families with multiple and complex needs, and the partnership prevention and early intervention programme for families.

Michael Imperato


Michael Imperato is a Partner at South Wales solicitors Watkins and Gunn. He heads its Cardiff Office and the Public/Administrative law department undertaking a number of high profile judicial review challenges. These have been mainly in respect of service closures, devolved issues and human rights. Michael is also recognised as a leader in the field of claimant personal injury work. He is the principle solicitor acting for the trade union, Community, in Wales and the West. Michael is a former president of the Cardiff & District Law Society, a member of the Law Society Civil Justice Committee, Wales co-ordinator and a Fellow of the Association of Personal Injury lawyers, Vice Chair of the Legal Aid Agency Special Controls review Panel, committee member of Public Law Wales and a visiting scholar at Swansea University.

Michael is a longstanding school governor, trustee of a charity for children with brain injuries and a Newport County supporter.

Caroline Lewis


Caroline Lewis held posts of Vice Principal of Coleg Menai and then Principal at Neath Port Talbot College and during this time carried out roles across Wales in educational policy and curriculum development. Once retired, Caroline became Chair of the Bureaucracy Reduction Group for FE for the UK Government and undertook projects as a consultant for the Welsh Government. She also took a Foundation Diploma Course in Art and Design and has been following up her interest in painting. Until recently she was Chair of Hafren Credit Union.

Caroline has a degree in Classics from Newnham College, Cambridge and speaks several modern languages, including Welsh.

Rachal Minchinton


Rachal is Head of Income Generation at George Thomas Hospice Care and prior to that spent ten years at Wales’ leading homelessness charity Llamau.

She is experienced in a wide range of fundraising techniques and strategy and is also a committee member for the Institute of Fundraising Cymru.

In Print

Subscribers' Magazine

Exchange – Issue 7

‘Resilient communities’ is a phrase that’s been hard to avoid in recent months and is central to the discussions about the future of Communities First.  Great though it sounds, it is much less clear what resilience means or how it Read more »

Exchange – Issue 6

It’s been almost five months since the UK voted to leave the EU. As the initial shock of the referendum result dies down, the latest edition of Exchange looks at the impact that Brexit could have on Wales. Our contributors Read more »

More from the Subscribers' Magazine »

Other Publications

More from Other Publications »


Keep up to Date

Sign up to our monthly e-news to keep up to date with our ideas, events and resources.

Support Us

Subscribe Today!

Help Wales to be fair, prosperous and sustainable - and get some great benefits too!

Join / Donate »


June 14th 2017

What next after the election?

Whatever the result of the election on June 8th, big changes are ahead over the next five years.  Come and join us for a great lunch-time discussion! We are pleased to invite you to discuss the results of the general Read more »

July 5th 2017

Making City Deals Inclusive

Making City Deals Inclusive Wednesday 5th July 2017 Media Briefing Room, Senedd, Cardiff, CF99 1NA Kindly sponsored by Jeremy Miles AM With City Deals now approved for Cardiff and Swansea – and similar deals on the agenda for the rest of Read more »