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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Welsh Liberal Democrats appoint new Chief Executive

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have announced that Joanne Foster is to be their new Chief Executive .

Ms Foster, 27, will take over the role early next year and become the first female Chief Executive of any state Liberal Democrat party. She takes over from Stephen Smith, who left earlier in the year.

She said: “This is a challenging role and I am looking forward to getting started. The party is in a period of change at the top, and with a new UK leader taking office, a new President in Wales, and I am delighted to be a part of laying the foundations for a more liberal Wales.

“The party has enormous potential for growth, and has a major role to play in Welsh life. At a time when all the other parties increasingly sound the same, we have an opportunity to break through the consensus, and set ourselves apart as the distinct and forward looking party that we are.”

Mike German, leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, said: “Joanne has a strong record both within the party and in Welsh public life. She is a determined character and has a great way with people. These are the skills we believe are needed to take the party on the next step of its journey.

“The need for liberal ideas has never been greater in Wales. We as a party have to step up to that responsibility. I believe Joanne’s appointment is a foundation stone for success at the 2011 Welsh General Election.”

Ms Foster’s appointment marks a second major change at the top of the Welsh Liberal Democrats in recent weeks. Former Assembly Member Christine Humphreys was elected President on November 30th.


Joanne Foster was born and raised in Bolton, but has lived in Osaka, Japan and Cardiff.
She studied Law at King’s College London, and also attended Poole-Gakuin University, Osaka. A fluent Japanese speaker, she taught English in Japan for two years.

Joanne moved to Cardiff in 2005, working as a caseworker for Peter Black AM, and was promoted to be a researcher in the leader’s office within 9 months. She was the lead Welsh Liberal Democrat negotiator with the Labour Party in the aftermath of the 2007 Welsh General Election.

Currently employed by a leading disability charity as Policy and Assembly officer, Joanne is also Chair of Cardiff Women’s Aid.

She is also learning Welsh though for some reason the press release did not mention that.
Congrats to Jo. She's a star.

Interesting to see how young most of the Chief Execs of the main parties in Wales are.

Not really surprising the rate of pay other than for someone already working for a political party is not the most attractive in the county

"She is also learning Welsh though for some reason the press release did not mention that."

Did "protecting Welsh IP" get a mention anywhere?
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