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Membership is designed to provide balanced advice and support to the Permanent Secretary. It also provides collective leadership to the organisation as a whole.

Board members are appointed by the Permanent Secretary.

Andrew Goodall

Permanent Secretary

Dr Andrew Goodall was appointed to the role of Welsh Government Permanent Secretary in November 2021 and leads the Welsh Government Civil Service in delivering the priorities of the First Minister and acts as the Principal Accounting Officer for the Welsh Government. Prior to this he was Director General of Health and Social Services/Chief Executive NHS Wales, a position he had held since June 2014.

Dr Goodall has been an NHS Chief Executive in Wales for 16 years.   Previous posts includes Chief Executive of Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, a position held from the Health Board’s inception in October 2009 until 2014 after NHS re-organisation to the integrated Health Board model.

During his 30 year NHS career, Dr Goodall has held planning and operational positions across a number of NHS organisations across South Wales as well as national roles.  He has particular areas of interest in improving patient safety, quality and patient experience; partnership working and collaboration across Public Services; and delivering frontline services through service improvement and modernisation.

Dr Goodall has a law degree from Essex University and a PhD in Health Service Management from Cardiff Business School.  Dr Goodall was awarded a CBE in the 2018 New Year Honours for his services to the NHS and public services.

Ellen Donovan

Non Executive Director

Ellen is an experienced Management Board Director, with over 25 years Business experience in the private sector. Her previous roles include Trading Director where she was responsible for the development of brands, products and services within Debenhams PLC, and Operations Director where she led a workforce of over 5,000 staff.

An experienced non-executive director, Ellen has served on a number of boards, this currently includes Qualifications Wales, Linc Cymru and the Audit and Risk Committee of the Welsh Government's Economy, Skills and Natural Resources Group. During this time she has gained valuable knowledge of housing, care, transport, economy, skills and education.

Having spent a great deal of her career in London, Ellen returned to Wales in 2006 and is married with 2 children.

Gareth Lynn

Non Executive Director

Gareth is a finance and business professional with over 33 years’ experience in both the private and public sectors. He completed his formal accountancy training with Ernst & Young. In 1990 spun out his own firm with colleagues. His business grew significantly to become one of Wales leading professional services firms. In April 2017 the firm was acquired by the Cogital Group, the UK’s fastest growing professional services group.

Gareth has worked with arm’s length public sector bodies in Wales. He provided external and internal audit services, consultancy advice and risk management training.

Gareth has extensive corporate governance and board level experience. He has held several independent advisory and non-executive director roles, including:

  • the chair of audit and risk committees
  • The European Medicines Agency, 
  • The Nursing & Midwifery Council
  • Milford Haven Port Authority.

Current roles include:

  • Independent Chairman of Trustees of the Milford Haven Port Authority Pension Scheme
  • Non-Executive Director at Spindogs Ltd (one of Wales leading full service digital agencies)
  • consultant to Baldwins Accountants, part of the Cogital Group.

Meena Upadhyaya

Non Executive Director

Professor Meena Upadhyaya OBE obtained her Ph.D. from Cardiff University and completed a fellowship with the Royal College of Pathologists (RCPath) in 2000.

She was a Professor at Cardiff University's Institute of Cancer Genetics and directed the All Wales Medical Genetics Service Research and Development Laboratory in the post of Consultant Molecular Geneticist until her retirement in 2014.  Her research career focused on many genetic disorders, especially neurofibromatosis type I (NF1) and facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy. As a Professor, she trained and mentored many students and scientists during her career. As a researcher and scientist, she has made pioneering discoveries, authored more than 200 scientific articles, and 3 books. Meena has received many awards including the Inspire Wales Award (2010), the European Neurofibromatosis Association Award (2013), an OBE (2016), and the St David Award for Innovation, Science and Technology (2017).

Meena has been an Honorary Distinguished Professor at the Division of Cancer and Genetics, Cardiff University since her retirement, and has represented Cardiff University at many international meetings. She was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David in 2017, the Fellowship of the Learned Society of Wales (LSW) in 2018 and was elected to be a Council Member of the RCPath in 2014 and the LSW in 2020. Meena also served as a mentor on Dame Rosemary Butler’s Women in Public Life scheme (2014-2015).

Meena is an avid advocate for promoting equality, diversity, community cohesion, and integration. She founded the Welsh Asian Women Achievement Awards now known as the Ethnic Minority Welsh Women Achievement Association (EMWWAA) and the Ethnic Minority Women in Welsh Healthcare (EMWWH). She is a trustee for Race Equality First, Race Council Cymru, the European NF Association, and sits on the Advisory Committee of Cardiff University’s BME+ Staff Network, Purple Plaque, and Monumental Welsh Women.

Tracey Burke

Director General - Education and Public Services

Tracey has been directly involved in the regeneration of Wales and Ireland for over 20 years working for the Welsh Government, Welsh Development Agency, the Irish Government, the UK government as well as working with the European Commission.

Tracey was born in Splott in Cardiff and joined the Welsh Government in 2006 from the Welsh Development Agency. Since that time, Tracey has held posts in economic policy and transport policy, as well as a wider strategic role across the Economy, Skills and Natural Resources Group. Tracey was appointed to the post of Director General for Education and Public Services in November 2017.

Desmond Clifford

Director General for the Office of the First Minister and Brexit

Des manages the provision of services to the First Minister and Cabinet. He also leads on the co-ordination of Brexit business across the Welsh Government and our international agenda. 

His Brexit challenge is to ensure that the Welsh Government is:

  • mobilised on the right issues, and 
  • works effectively with the UK government to represent Wales’ interests. 

He is responsible for our network of offices around the world. He works closely with economic colleagues on trade and investment infrastructure.

Des has been with the Welsh Government throughout the devolution journey. This includes a lengthy stint in Brussels representing Wales’ EU interests. He previously worked for a decade as a journalist with the BBC. Des went to Aberystwyth University and speaks Welsh.

Andrew Slade

Director General - Economy, Skills and Natural Resources

Andrew became Director General, Economy, Skills and Natural Resources in January 2018.

His previous Welsh Government posts include:

  • Lead Director for Environment and Rural Affairs, and
  • Head of Policy Profession.

Andrew joined the organisation in 2012. He first worked on EU programmes, and then as Director, Agriculture, Food and Marine.

Before coming to Wales, Andrew worked for the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). He led the setting up of their new national rural development service.

Between 2006 and 2011, Andrew worked in South West England. His roles included:

  • Deputy Regional Director at the Government Office responsible for sustainable development, and
  • Executive Director of Programmes and Partnerships at the SW Regional Development Agency.

Andrew’s earlier career was with the UK government in London (Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, and then Defra). He held a number of posts there, including Principal Private Secretary to the Secretary of State.

Andrew is a Welsh learner.

Judith Paget

Chief Executive

Judith was appointed to the role of Interim Director General of Health and Social Services/Chief Executive NHS Wales in November 2021. Her role includes both supporting Ministerial priorities for health and social care within the Civil Service structures, and the leadership and oversight of NHS Wales.

Judith’s previous post was as Chief Executive of Aneurin Bevan University Health Board. Judith joined the Health Board as Director of Planning & Operations on 1st October 2009 and subsequently became Chief Operating Officer/Deputy CEO before her appointment as Chief Executive in October 2014. 

Judith has worked in the NHS since 1980 and has undertaken a variety of operational, planning and commissioning roles in a number of NHS organisations across south, mid and west Wales. Judith was appointed to her first CEO role in April 2003.  Judith has a keen interest in partnership working across public services; primary care and community development; value based healthcare and staff development and engagement.

Judith was awarded a Companionship of the Institute of Health Service Managers in 2012 and in June 2014 won the Institute of Directors – Director in Public Service Award for Wales.  In June 2019 Judith was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for her services to delivery and management in NHS Wales.

Reg Kilpatrick

Director General - COVID Crisis Coordination

Reg began his career as an aircraft engineer before completing a degree in Behavioural Sciences. He joined the Welsh Office as a statistician and directed the Wales Cancer Registry. Following a period managing the NHS budget and health authority allocations, he was invited onto the Board of the Wales Millennium Centre where he worked closely with the company to secure the political and financial approval which enabled the construction of the Centre.

He spent some time developing economic policy before moving to Financial Planning where he managed the annual spending round for the £15 billion Welsh Government budget. After five years, Reg then moved to Local Government Policy developing policy on council structures, boundaries, electoral matters and performance.

In 2011 Reg became Director of Local Government Department and took on policy for the fire service, the relationship with the police, and civil contingencies and national security matters. He directed preparations for a no deal Brexit including the Wales element of Operation Yellowhammer. He was appointed the Director General role in 2020 to coordinate the cross government response to the COVID Pandemic.

Helen Lentle

Legal Services Director

Helen Lentle is the Director of Legal Services for the Welsh Government.  Helen’s 30 year legal career has mostly been in the public sector in Wales. In the 1990s she worked for 2 large local authorities in Wales and has a real interest in public sector delivery and has a belief in the real difference that sound and pragmatic legal advice can make to delivery of public services.

Helen now leads the Welsh Government Legal Department, which is the largest public sector legal practice in Wales and she is Head of the Legal Profession within Welsh Government Civil Service.  She is a member of Diversity and Inclusion Steering Group and a Diversity Champion for the Office of First Minister and an ally of the Welsh Government’s LGBTQ+ Staff Network.

Helen is a trained executive coach and mentor and has supported employees through coaching and mentoring across the wider Welsh public sector and the Civil Service for many years. Helen is currently a trustee of a dyslexia charity.

Helen hails from Abertillery and was educated at Nantyglo Senior Comprehensive School.  She undertook a law degree at De Montfort University and qualified as a Solicitor in 1991.  She has an MBA from Cardiff Metropolitan University, a certificate (ILM Level 7) in Executive Coaching and Mentoring from the University of South Wales and has undertaken leadership development at Harvard University.

Helen loves to travel regularly with her husband. She works compressed hours which helps her to have a full and busy life when she’s not thinking about the law and devolved powers.

David Richards

Director, Governance and Ethics

David Richards is a director with the Welsh Government. He joined the Welsh Office in 1979 as a civil servant and has worked with Welsh Ministers on a range of policy issues.

He was Finance Director from 1996 to 2006. He was part of the senior team which managed the legislation for, and setting up of the National Assembly for Wales.

He led the successful project to build the Senedd building. He also led on an establishment of a separate auditing body and Auditor General for Wales. He led the Wanless review of Health and Social Services in Wales.

David is involved in the reorganisation of the Welsh Health Service as Director of Strategic Investment. He is looking at how the public sector can use innovative forms of funding to improve public infrastructure. His current role within Welsh Government is Director of Governance. He provides the Permanent Secretary with assurance on governance issues across the organisation.

David also chaired the UK Intellectual Property Office Steering Board for 10 years up to March 2011.

Natalie Pearson

Head of Organisational Development and Engagement

Natalie has worked in strategic communications, employee engagement and organisational development. Following a career in the private sector, voluntary sector and Whitehall, she returned to Wales in 1999. She has undertaken a number of roles within the Welsh Government including:

  • leading strategic communications planning
  • crisis communications and digital communications
  • head of communications for a number of portfolio ministers.

Her most recent roles have focused on:

  • organisational development
  • employee engagement
  • support for civil service innovation.

She is Head of the Organisational Development and Engagement Division. She is also SRO of the Permanent Secretary’s Future-proofing initiative. This is a wide-ranging change programme designed to help build a capable, confident and resilient civil service for the future.

Born and brought up in the Ebbw Valley, Natalie lives near Usk and is married with 3 sons.

Peter Kennedy

HR Director

Peter has been HR Director with the Welsh Government since 2011. He has responsibility for HR, ICT, location and security.

Peter was born and educated in Cardiff. He is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD, with a MA in education from the University of Wales. He spent 9 years serving with the Royal Air Force, including a spell with The Queen’s Flight. He then joined the MOD and spent the next 10 years working in Whitehall, St Athan, Bath, Perth and Hampshire in a variety of roles covering all aspects of HR. His final role with the MOD was as Head of HR with the Defence Aviation Repair Agency. He joined the Welsh Government in 2005 as Head of HR.

He is married with 2 children and lives near Cardiff.

Gawain Evans

Finance Director

Gawain was appointed to the post of Finance Director in October 2015, having spent 3 years in the role of deputy director financial controls. His role involves supporting the Cabinet Secretary for Finance & Local Government, the Permanent Secretary and senior colleagues, to ensure that Welsh Government spending is properly managed and reported and does not exceed approved limits. Gawain works with the Head of internal Audit to provide advice to all accounting officers on regularity, propriety and value for money issues in relation to Welsh Government activities. He is also responsible for ensuring that Welsh Government adheres to the highest standards of governance and risk management. Gawain is Head of Profession for Finance and Accounting staff within the Welsh Government. He is also a member of the Financial Reporting Advisory Board, which advises the UK government on the application of accounting policy, and chairs the Audit Committee for Dyfed/Powys Police.

Prior to joining the Welsh Government, Gawain was with the Ministry of Defence where he worked in a variety of areas. This included stints at Headquarters in Whitehall and in Defence Procurement, where he headed up the Finance Teams for the Carrier and Eurofighter and worked to an industry chief exec as Finance Director for the Carrier Alliance. Gawain is married with one daughter.

Andrew Jeffreys

Treasury Director

Andrew Jeffreys studied at Newcastle University, London School of Economics and Cardiff University, where he completed his PhD in 1999.

After working in the voluntary sector, as a researcher for two South Wales MPs and as a part-time lecturer in philosophy, Andrew joined the civil service as a Fast Streamer in 2000.

He spent a number of years working in Whitehall, initially for HM Customs and Excise where he ran the Permanent Secretary's Private Office, and then for HM Treasury where he worked on tax policy and strategy, leading the team responsible for consumption taxes.

He returned to Wales in 2006 to work in the Welsh Government.  He is currently Director, Welsh Treasury.