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Professor Laura McAllister

Expert Panel on Assembly Electoral Reform

Biographies of Panel Members



Professor Laura McAllister CBE (Panel Chair)

Laura McAllister (above) is Professor of Public Policy and the Governance of Wales at the Wales Governance Centre and an expert on devolution. Before joining Cardiff University in October 2016, Laura was Professor of Governance at the University of Liverpool. She is a graduate of the London School of Economics and Cardiff University. Laura was a member of the Richard Commission on the Powers and Electoral Arrangements for National Assembly for Wales (2002-04), and provided research advice to the Independent Panel on AMs' Pay and Support in 2008-09. Laura chaired the Welsh Government's expert group on Diversity in Local Government (2013-14) and was co-chair of the Chief Scientific Officer's inquiry into Women in STEM subjects (2014-16). Until 2015, she was a member of the National Assembly Remuneration Board examining AMs' pay and allowances. She is an Honorary Visiting Professor at the University of South Wales, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia and the China National School of Administration, Beijing.

A former Wales football international and national team captain with 24 caps, Laura was Chair of Sport Wales from 2010 until March 2016, is a former Board Member of UK Sport, and is currently a Director of the Football Association of Wales Trust. She is a trustee of the Institute of Welsh Affairs and was formerly a Trustee of Stonewall UK. Laura holds honorary degrees and fellowships from the Universities of Bangor, Cardiff, Cardiff Metropolitan, South Wales and Swansea University, and is a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales. She was awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours in 2016.



Professor Rosie Campbell

Rosie Campbell is a Professor of Politics at Birkbeck University of London. She has recently written on parliamentary candidates, the politics of diversity and gender voting behaviour and political recruitment. She is the principal investigator of the ESRC funded Representative Audit of Britain, which surveyed all candidates standing in the 2015 British General Election, and co-investigator of a Leverhulme funded study of British parliamentary candidates and MPs from 1945-2015 (

She has co-authored reports on gender and political participation for BBC Radio Four's Woman's Hour, The Electoral Commission, The Fabian Women's Network and The Hansard Society. Rosie has been recently interviewed by the Today Programme, Westminster Hour, Woman's Hour, Newsnight and Good Morning Britain. In September 2016 Rosie presented an episode of Radio Four's Analysis programme entitled Tearing up the politics textbooks.



Professor Sarah Childs

Prof Sarah ChildsSarah Childs has published widely on women's political representation over the last decade or so. Her research expertise centres on descriptive and substantive representation, the concept of critical mass, political parties and parliaments, and conservatism, gender and representation. Prof Childs is currently researching feminized institutions with the UK Parliament and political parties, as well as writing a book on substantive representation theory, with Celis. Key articles have been published in Political Studies, Politics and Gender, Parliamentary Affairs and Party Politics. In 2015 she published two co-edited books Gender, Conservatism and Representation and Deeds and Words with ECPR press, with Celis and Campbell respectively. Her most recent monograph is Sex, Gender and the Conservative Party: From Iron Lady to Kitten Heels, 2012, with Paul Webb, Palgrave.

In 2009-10 Professor Childs was the gender Special Adviser to the UK Parliament's 'Speaker's Conference' on representation and in 2014 the Special Adviser to the All Party Parliamentary Group, Women in Parliament Inquiry. In 2015 she received the Political Studies Association 'Special Recognition Award' for her work on women's representation. Having been 'embedded' in the UK House of Commons for the best part of a year, in July 2016 she published The Good Parliament report which outlined necessary reforms to deliver a diversity sensitive UK Parliament. She is currently the special adviser to the newly created Commons Reference Group on Representation and Inclusion.



Rob Clements

Rob ClementsRob Clements retired from the House of Commons in March 2011 after working in its information services for nearly 35 years. He headed the House of Commons Research Service from 2000 to 2009 and was subsequently Director of Service Delivery, with overall responsibility for the House's research and other information services to both MPs and the public. He also played a leading role in developing the House's strategic approach to issues of public information and access and improving engagement with the public. More recently, Rob has worked with a number of Parliaments in other countries to help them develop their research and information services. He is a Fellow and former Vice-President of the Royal Statistical Society and was a council member of the Hansard Society from 2002 to 2011.



Professor David Farrell

Prof Daid FarrellProfessor Farrell was appointed to the Chair of Politics at University College Dublin in 2009, having returned to Ireland after two decades working at the University of Manchester. In 2013 he was elected a Member of the Royal Irish Academy. He has held visiting positions at the Australian National University, Harvard, Mannheim, and the University of California Irvine. A specialist in the study of representation, elections and parties, he has published 18 books and 100 articles and book chapters. His most recent books include: Political Parties and Democratic Linkage (Oxford University Press, 2011; paperback 2013), which was awarded the GESIS Klingemann Prize for the Best Comparative Study of Electoral Systems (CSES) Scholarship, and A Conservative Revolution? Electoral Change in Twenty-First Century Ireland (Oxford University Press, 2017).

His current work is focused on constitutional deliberation, and in that capacity he was the research director of the Irish Constitutional Convention (2012-14) and is the research leader of the on-going Irish Citizens' Assembly. He is the founding co-editor of Party Politics. In 2016 he was re-elected (for a second term) as the Speaker of the Council of the European Consortium for Political Research.



Dr Alan Renwick

Dr Alan RenwickDr Alan Renwick is the Deputy Director of the Constitution Unit at University College London. He is a leading expert on electoral systems and processes of electoral reform in the UK and around the world. His books include The Politics of Electoral Reform (published by Cambridge University Press in 2010), A Citizen's Guide to Electoral Reform (Biteback, 2011), and Faces on the Ballot: The Personalization of Electoral Systems in Europe, co-authored with Jean-Benoit Pilet (Oxford University Press, 2016). He also conducts research into referendums and deliberative democracy and is currently working on a project analysing how referendum campaigns can best be conducted. He is a regular contributor to discussions of electoral and broader political reforms in the media, and he has previously advised on processes of electoral reform in places including Jersey, Egypt, and Jordan.



Sir Evan Paul Silk KCB

Sir Evan Paul Silk KCBSir Paul Silk was Chair of the Commission on Devolution in Wales from 2011 to 2014. Paul is a former Clerk to the National Assembly for Wales, serving from March 2001 until December 2006. He was a Clerk in the House of Commons from 1975 to1977 and from 1979 to 2001, and Director of Strategic Projects in the Commons from 2007 to 2010. While a Commons Clerk, he contributed to drafting the first standing orders of the National Assembly for Wales. He has also worked as Presidential Adviser in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and has written and lectured extensively on Parliament and the constitution.

He was an honorary Professor at the Wales Governance Centre at Cardiff University from 2011 to 2016 and is an Honorary Fellow of Aberystwyth University. He is President of the Study of Parliament Group. Paul is also an Associate of Global Partners Governance, and a consultant to the Westminster Foundation for Democracy and the UNDP. In 2016 he has worked with these organisations in the Parliaments of Egypt, Honduras, Jordan, Ukraine and Venezuela.



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