Our People

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


Victoria Winckler

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.

Steffan Evans

Dr Steffan Evans

Head of Policy (Poverty)

Steffan joined the Bevan Foundation in July 2018 after working as a participation officer at TPAS Cymru.

In 2018 Steffan graduated with a PhD from the Wales Governance Centre, at the School of Law and Politics at Cardiff University. His research examined the impact of devolution on social housing regulation in Wales and England, exploring how and why the law had diverged between both nations.

Steffan is leading on the Bevan Foundation’s work on poverty. During his time at the Foundation he has worked on a variety of policy areas including free school meals, the social security system and the response to the Covid 19 pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis.

Among the areas that Steffan is currently working on are access to housing for low income renters, and the need to establish a Welsh Benefits System.

Rob King

Rob King

Housing Policy Officer

Rob joined the Bevan Foundation in November 2022 as a Housing Policy Officer.

Rob has an undergraduate degree in History and has recently graduated from Cardiff University with a Masters degree in the subject. Their MA thesis explored depictions of the Holocaust in popular video games.

Their work is currently focussing on support mechanisms surrounding housing and how they can be expanded to meet Welsh Government plans of ending homelessness by 2026.


Isata Kanneh

Project Lead, Access to Justice

Isata joined the Bevan Foundation in November 2022 as Project Lead for the Access to Justice project.

Isata has worked as a freelance project manager for over twenty years. She has worked on many and varied projects supporting and promoting the work of migrants and refugees and in the areas of children’s rights, equalities, and community participation. Isata currently sits as a Lay Member on the Welsh Language Tribunal. She has an MA in Race and Ethnic Studies.


Elinor Mattey

Project Officer, Access to Justice

Elinor joined the Bevan Foundation in October 2022 as an access to justice project officer for migration.  

Elinor has an undergraduate degree in Law, and has recently graduated from Swansea University with a Masters degree in Human Rights. Over the course of her most recent studies, she has focussed on asylum and migration, international human rights law, and her dissertation explored the protection of the cultural rights of Gypsy and Traveller Communities in the UK.  

Elinor is currently looking at how to increase access to advice on immigration matters in Wales.  

Alice Peters

Development Officer

Alice joined the Bevan Foundation in March 2022 as Development Officer.

Alice graduated from Cardiff University with a degree in History. Previously, Alice has completed work for the Jewish History Association of South Wales and the Firing Line Museum.

Alice’s work focuses on income generation and stewarding subscribers and supporters. She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Fundraising and has completed her Certificate in Fundraising.

Paula Richards

Office Manager

Paula joined the Bevan Foundation as Office Manager in June 2023 having worked in administrative roles in the arts and charity sector for over 20 years.

Paula is currently completing her second degree in Art and Design.  Her previous degree and studies have encompassed Anthropology, Spanish, European Identities, English Language and Journalism.


Gavin Thompson


Gavin became Chair of the Bevan Foundation in July 2023.  He is regional editor Wales at local news publisher Newsquest, a role that includes being editor of the South Wales Argus, a daily newspaper and online news platform based in Newport, and other titles. He has been in the news industry for more than 20 years, starting as a reporter and working his way up to become an editor. He joined Newsquest in Wales in 2020.

Through his career, Gavin has championed the importance of local newspapers in communities. He has previously been a voluntary director of the Bath Business Improvement District.

Tamsin Stirling

Vice Chair

Tamsin is an experienced housing researcher and policy adviser who worked as an independent housing consultant between 1999 and 2022. Her research interests included governance, social policy, poverty/inequality, regeneration and homelessness. She was ministerial adviser on housing, regeneration and planning issues in the Welsh Government between 2012 and 2014 during which time the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 was developed.

She is a long-time resident of Splott, Cardiff and is currently undertaking a photography degree at Coleg Gwent.

Tamsin joined the Bevan Foundation Board in 2018.

John Chown


John is an experienced chartered accountant and during his career he has had a professional involvement in providing assurance services, advice, support and training to a wide range of people and organisations but specifically in relation to the not for profit sector, covering charities, social businesses, credit unions and other voluntary organisations.

His other current voluntary activities include being a board member or trustee of Cwmpas, Cynon Taf Housing Association and its subsidiary Down to Zero (addressing carbon sequestration and carrying out related community complementary activities), Daring to Dream (a charity addressing the emotional wellbeing of patients and people with chronic health conditions throughout Wales) and Ynni Teg Cyf (a community energy company).

John joined the Bevan Foundation board in January 2020.

Duncan Forbes

Company secretary

Duncan Forbes is Chief Executive of Trivallis, a community mutual housing association and one of the largest housing associations in Wales based in Rhondda Cynon Taff. He has been a trustee of the Bevan Foundation since 2014.

A qualified solicitor, one of Duncan’s specialism areas was providing legal advice to voluntary organisations and he has co-authored several guides on charity law.

Duncan has been chief executive and Chair of a number of housing associations since 2007 and was a Board member of Powys Teaching Health Board and the Chair of Centre for Regeneration Excellence Wales.

Duncan joined the Bevan Foundation Board in 2014.

Bishop John D E Davies


Bishop John Davies graduated in law from the University of Southampton. He was admitted as a solicitor in 1977, specialising in criminal law and, after ordination, completed a master’s degree in Canon Law. Bishop John was ordained in 1984 and initially served in the Diocese of Monmouth before his appointment as Dean of Brecon Cathedral in 2000.  He was elected as Bishop of Swansea and Brecon in 2008 and as Archbishop of Wales in 2017. Bishop John retired in 2021.

Bishop John is profoundly interested in matters of social justice and has spoken out on a range of issues, including urban and rural deprivation,  homelessness and housing, organ donation, assisted dying and poverty. Having served as the chairman of the trustees of a large hospice in Newport, he also has a deep concern for the just provision of healthcare, not least for those in the final stages of life. He is the chair of the Steering Group of Housing Justice Cymru and is a trustee of Housing Justice and Adferiad Recovery. Until 2023 he also served as trustee of Cymru Older People’s Alliance.

Bishop John joined the Bevan Foundation board in 2021

Lynne Hughes


Lynne is Assistant Director Community Engagement, Involvement and Development of Marie Curie Care, a role she took up in 2022.

She began her career as a nurse before becoming a Public Health Specialist. She held a number of roles in the health service, including the RCN, and has also been the Wales Programme Manager for Oxfam, Director (Wales) of MS Society as well as working for two Assembly Members.

She has previously represented St James ward on Caerphilly County Borough Council.

Lynne joined the Bevan Foundation Board in 2018.

Anthony Hunt


Anthony is currently Leader of Torfaen County Borough Council, having been elected to represent Panteg Ward in 2012. He chairs the Cardiff Capital Region Cabinet and is the WLGA Spokesperson on workforce, finance and resources.

Before becoming a councillor, Anthony worked as a researcher at the House of Commons, in the Wales Office and at what was then the Welsh Assembly, gaining experience at every level of Government and working for figures including Paul Murphy when he was Secretary of State in both Wales and Northern Ireland. He holds a degree in Law from Cardiff University. Anthony is a keen cyclist, an avid fan of Bruce Springsteen and an FAW junior football coach.

Anthony joined the Bevan Foundation board in July 2018.

Michael Imperato


Michael Imperato is a Director 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. Michael has acted in most of the leading legal cases in respect of devolved law in Wales. These have been mainly in respect of service closures, and human rights. Michael has been involved in a number of high profile inquests and public inquiries.

Michael is also recognised as a leader in the field of claimant personal injury work. He is the principal solicitor acting for the trade union, Community, in Wales and the West. Michael is a former president of the Cardiff & District Law Society and a member of the Law Society Human Rights Committee. Michael is Deputy chair of the Local Democracy and Boundary Commission for Wales and an independent health board member.

Michael is a longstanding school governor and a Newport County supporter.

Michael joined the Bevan Foundation Board in 2016.

Professor Sally Power


Sally is Co-Director of the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research Data and Methods (WISERD).  Her research explores the relationship between education, civil society and inequality in Wales and internationally.

Before joining Cardiff University, Sally was Head of the School of Educational Foundations and Policy Studies at at the Institute of Education, University of London. She has also worked at the Universities of Bristol, Warwick and West of England.

Sally is an elected fellow of the Learned Society for Wales and the Academy of Social Sciences.

Sally joined the Bevan Foundation Board in 2018.


Vivienne Sugar


Viv joined the Bevan Foundation Board in 2014.  She served as chair from 2015 until 2023 when she stepped aside.

Vivienne Sugar is now retired but until recently was Director of her own management consultancy, working for central and local government across the UK. She served eight years as Pro Chancellor of Swansea University, was chair of Consumer Focus Wales, 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.


Shavanah Taj


Shavanah Taj is General Secretary of the Wales Trades Union Congress (TUC). She joined Wales TUC from her role as Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) Secretary.  Prior to joining PCS, Shavanah worked in retail, call centres and the third sector. From 2018 to 2019, she served as the President of the Wales TUC.

Cardiff born and raised, Shavanah grew up steeped in the trade union movement. Her father was a Health and Safety representative in the steel works.  Shavanah is passionate about equality, social justice and human rights. She is a patron of Show Racism the Red Card Wales, trustee for the Henna Foundation which supports victims and survivors of domestic abuse and honour-based violence and also a trustee for Fio, a grassroots theatre group. Shavanah was recently appointed to the People’s Health Trust. Shavanah lives in Cardiff and is married with two young children, aged 6 and 8.

Shavanah joined the Bevan Foundation board in 2021

Richard Williams


Richard is originally from Bethel, near Caernarfon and went to Liverpool University to study Communication Studies and Politics before starting his career in regional newspaper journalism. He went on to become deputy editor of the Daily Post in North Wales and then editor of the Wrexham Evening Leader and the South Wales Echo.

In 2008, Richard moved to the third sector becoming Wales Director for RNID (Royal National Institute of Deaf People). Since 2017, Richard has been Chief Executive of Community Foundation Wales, the independent charitable foundation that connects philanthropy with local communities in Wales. Richard is a father of two and a big football fan, supporting Wrexham Football Club and the Welsh national team. He is a trustee of the Cymru Football Foundation.

Richard joined the Bevan Foundation board in 2021


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