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 has recently been appointed to set up and lead the statutory public inquiry into the Omagh Bombing in 1998. He moved there from the Covid-19 Public Inquiry, where for the last two years he was Director of Policy, Research and Analysis and Deputy Secretary. Sam has a background in senior leadership in the public sector. Before joining the Covid Inquiry, he led an independent Arm’s Length Body for the Department of Transport. As Secretary to the Independent Commission on Civil Aviation Noise, he was its chief executive and accounting officer. He was its first staff appointment on its establishment by the UK Government in January 2019 and was responsible for building the organisation, working with the Chair and board to set and deliver ICCAN’s programme of work from January 2019 to December 2021. Prior to this he was Secretary to the Parliamentary Boundary Commission for England, leading the organisation in delivering a politically-contentious review of Parliamentary boundaries between 2015 and 2018. He has a wider background in the constitutional and regulatory fields, and has had other senior roles in healthcare and constitutional regulators, as well as in the Cabinet Office. Sam is on the board of the Boundary Commission for Wales, and the Association of Chief Executives, and has previously been the independent member of a government department Audit and Risk Assurance Committee, and an independent member of a local authority Standards Committee.
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.