Key interests and
Lee Waters is the Welsh
Labour and Co-operative Member of the National Assembly for Wales
for the Llanelli constituency.
Before being elected in
May 2016, Lee was Director of Wales's leading independent
think-tank, the Institute of Welsh Affairs. He previously ran the
sustainable transport charity Sustrans in Wales where he led the
campaign for the Active Travel Act. He is a former Chief Political
Correspondent of ITV Wales.
His policy interests
are wide-ranging, including the economy, the constitution, climate
change, the media and provision for looked after
Lee Waters was born and
raised in the Amman Valley in Carmarthenshire. He was educated in
Brynamman and Ammanford, where he attended the town’s
comprehensive school. The first member of his family to go to
university, he graduated from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth,
with a First Class Degree in Politics.
He is married with two
children. He speaks Welsh as a second language.
Before being elected in
2016, Lee was Director of the Institute of Welsh Affairs. During
his three years leading the independent policy institute he
refreshed the charity, stabilising its finances, overhauling its
systems and setting a new strategy. He edited the magazine, the
Welsh Agenda, and contributed to the pioneering of crowdsourcing in
policy development with three innovative projects.
Between 2007 and 2013
Lee was Director of Sustrans Cymru, the sustainable transport
charity, where he oversaw a range of practical projects to
encourage behaviour change and influence policy. He led a team of
32 to deliver a diverse portfolio of complex programmes, worth in
excess of £24 Million.
Before working in the
third sector Lee was a political journalist. As the Chief Political
Correspondent for ITV Wales News, he presented the weekly politics
programme, Waterfront, and reported on the National Assembly and
House of Commons as a Lobby Correspondent. Lee’s grounding in
journalism began at the BBC where he spent two years as a Producer
of the flagship news programme, Good Morning Wales.
Lee joined the Labour
Party as an 18 year-old student in Aberystwyth University. After an
internship in the US House of Representatives as an ESU Capitol
Hill Scholar, he took a year out from his studies to work for his
local MP during the 1997 General Election and devolution
After graduating he was
appointed Political Secretary to the Secretary of State for Wales,
Ron Davies. Following an eventful year, which included the first
Assembly election, Lee entered journalism. Despite working in a
politically restricted environment he became an active school
Governor, which renewed his appetite to want to change
In 2007 Lee joined the
environmental charity Sustrans as Director for Wales where he led a
successful six year campaign to secure the world’s first
Active Travel Act to raise levels of walking and
He was appointed by the
First Minister, Carwyn Jones, to be Welsh Labour’s
representative on the cross-party ‘Yes for Wales’
campaign ahead of the 2011 devolution referendum. As Vice-Chair he
led on communications and messaging and formed part of the small
group than ran the successful campaign.
retirement of the Labour Assembly Member for Llanelli in the summer
of 2015, Lee was selected as the party’s candidate in his
home constituency and held the seat – the first time any
party had successfully defended the constituency at an Assembly