Biographies

Mr Huw Vaughan Thomas CBE

Huw Vaughan Thomas CBE spent his early years in Abertridwr. Educated in Essex, he studied Modern History at Durham University and Management Sciences at City University, London. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and Honorary Member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy.

Huw has worked in a number of public sector roles, initially in the Department of Employment and Manpower Services including Regional Director for South West England and Director for Wales. In 1991 he was appointed Chief Executive of Gwynedd County Council, and following local government re-organisation became Chief Executive of Denbighshire County Council.

Prior to being appointed Auditor General for Wales in 2010, Huw ran his own consultancy company specialising in governance and policy evaluation. He also served on a number of public sector and voluntary organisations including the National Eisteddfod of Wales, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, the Hearing Aid Council, RNID, Law Society Council and the Parole Board.  He was a member of the Richard Commission on the Powers and Electoral Arrangements of the National Assembly of Wales, and chaired the Big Lottery Fund in Wales.

Awarded a CBE for services to Public Audit and Accountability in Wales in 2018, Huw lives in North Wales and is a Reader in the Church in Wales.

Mr Sam A Hartley

Sam Hartley is an experienced public sector senior leader, specialising in working for independent arm's-length bodies. His background is in the constitutional and regulatory fields and he currently leads an advisory ALB in the aviation sector.

Prior to taking this role, he led the Boundary Commission for England, delivering the most recent review of Parliamentary boundaries in late 2018. He has also had senior roles in healthcare, constitutional and electoral regulators, as well as in the Cabinet Office.

He sits as an independent member on the Audit and Risk Committee for the Office of the Secretary of State for Wales, and is Chair of Governors at his children’s school.   

Mrs Justice Jefford DBE

Mrs Justice Jefford DBE was born and brought up in Swansea.  She was educated at Olchfa Comprehensive School in Swansea before studying law at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, and at the University of Virginia, where she was a Fulbright Scholar.

Mrs Justice Jefford was called to the Bar by Gray’s Inn in 1986 and practised at Keating Chambers in London, specialising in construction and engineering law.  She was appointed as a Recorder in 2007 and as Queen’s Counsel in 2008.  She was appointed a High Court Judge in 2016.  In 2020 she was appointed a Presiding Judge of the Wales circuit.  

 Mrs Justice Jefford has maintained her links with Wales through long-standing membership of the London Welsh Chorale and her involvement with the Association of London Welsh Lawyers and the Lord Edmund Davies Legal Education Trust.