Wales's most innovative and influential think tank

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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 also currently Wales adviser to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Victoria is a leading contributor to public policy in Wales. In the 1990s she developed the proposals that secured EU Objective 1 status for West Wales and the Valleys, in the early 2000s she galvanised the Welsh Government’s actions to tackle poverty and most recently generated robust proposals for new Welsh taxes which are now being taken forward by the Welsh Government.

Victoria frequently gives expert evidence to Assembly Committees, comments in online articles and speaks at a wide range of events. 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 and has served in public appointments and as a board member of several organisations.

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


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.

Lucy Williams

Policy and Research Officer

Lucy joined the Bevan Foundation in June 2017 after working as a project coordinator at the Trussell Trust and working with local NGOs in Kenya.

Lucy is currently leading our work on better opportunities for young people without 5 A*-C GCSEs and is preparing regular briefings on this and other topics.

Lucy has a first-class honours degree in Social Sciences from the University of Glamorgan, an MSc in Development and Human Rights from Swansea University, and is currently writing her final dissertation for an MSc in Demography from the University of Southampton.


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 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 City Hospice 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

Supporter Magazine

Exchange – Issue 9

Well-being in Wales The latest edition of our exclusive supporters’ magazine looks at well-being in Wales from a range of different perspectives. Our excellent range of contributors looks at health and social care in Wales while considering different aspects of Read more »

Exchange – Issue 8

Looking to the Local The latest edition of our exclusive supporters’ magazine considers the role of ‘the local’ in Welsh public policy. An eclectic mix of contributors look at how place-based initiatives have worked in Wales, as well as what should be Read more »

More from the Supporter Magazine »

Other Publications

The Future of Doing Good in Wales

Wales is at a crossroads. Many people and organisations face very real social, economic, cultural and environmental challenges, as well as having to cope with significant political and financial uncertainty. To stimulate discussion about these changes, the Big Lottery Fund has been looking across Read more »

More from Other Publications »


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