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Sophie Howe, Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, awarded UWTSD Honorary Doctorate


12.07.2019

During a graduation ceremony at UWTSD’s Lampeter campus today (Friday 12 July) Sophie Howe, Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, has received an Honorary Doctorate (Doctor of Science) from the University.

Sophie Howe 2

Sophie was appointed Future Generations Commissioner for Wales in early 2016.  Prior to this, she was the first Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales where she led programmes to tackle violent crime and violence against women and girls, focusing on early intervention and partnership working.  Sophie also reformed programmes on substance misuse and offender management and negotiated the first shared work programme between Public Health Wales and South Wales Police.

On receiving the award, Sophie Howe said:

“It is a very great honour and privilege to be presented with this honorary Doctorate.  As a proud Welshwoman and a sustainable development champion, I’m certainly delighted that this award has come from a University which not only embodies everything that is celebrated about welsh culture, and language but also a university which is living and breathing the sustainable future we want to create for wales. 

We maybe on a campus that dates back to 1822 but certainly the ethos of this university is one of preparing its students for the future.  As students who will leave this University today you will become part of the last generation who can secure the world’s future.”

Sophie has also served as a Government Special Adviser providing policy and political advice on communities, local government, community safety, housing, regeneration and equality.  She has also previously worked for the Equal Opportunities Commission and the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Sophie Howe 3

Presenting Sophie to the congregation was UWTSD’s Pro Vice-Chancellor for External Engagement and Sustainability, Dr Jane Davidson.  She commented: 

“Sophie Howe took up post as the first Future Generations Commissioner for Wales in early 2016.  Sophie Howe is the world’s first – and still the only – future generations’ commissioner with statutory powers. Other countries have experimented with novel governance mechanisms that allow for the voice of future generations to be heard in policy making, with Israel, Hungary, Canada notable examples, but only Wales has yet enshrined the principle in law that future generations deserve a fair hearing in present political decision-making.

As Commissioner, Sophie’s role is to ensure that decisions taken today don’t compromise the interests of Welsh citizens tomorrow.  What makes a suitable background for the first incumbent of the Future Generations’ Commissioner role? Her CV almost seems a ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ preparation for the role. She understands Welsh politics and government - when I first met Sophie, she was the youngest elected councillor in Wales at the age of 21 and more recently a Government Special Adviser providing policy and political advice on communities, local government, community safety, housing, regeneration and equality. She’s worked for the Equality and Human Rights Commission and prior to her taking up the role Sophie was the first Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales where she led programmes to tackle violent crime and violence against women and girls, focusing on early intervention and partnership working; reformed programmes on substance misuse and offender management and negotiated the first shared work programme between Public Health Wales and South Wales Police. All this as well as being a mum to five children.”

Sophie was the youngest elected councillor in Wales, elected at the age of 21 serving as a member of the Children and Young People Scrutiny and Planning Committees.

She is Chair of the International Network of Institutions for Future Generations.

Further Information

For more information please contact Arwel Lloyd, Principal PR and Communications Officer, on 01267 676663 / arwel.lloyd@uwtsd.ac.uk