With a remit set out in law to be “the guardian of the interests of future generations in
Wales”, Sophie Howe is the world’s only Future Generations Commissioner. Described by
The Guardian as the “World’s first minister of the Unborn”, her role is to provide advice to
the Government and other public bodies in Wales on delivering social, economic,
environmental and cultural well-being for current and future generations and assessing and
reporting on how they are delivering.
Sophie took up post in 2016 and has led high profile interventions around transport
planning, education reform and climate change challenging the Government and others to
demonstrate how they are taking account of future generations. Described by the Big Issue
Magazine as one of the UK’s leading Changemakers, her interventions have secured
fundamental changes to land use planning policy, major transport schemes and Government
policy on housing – ensuring that decisions taken today are fit for the future. She has
represented Wales at the UN the OECD and on a number of International Forums including
Chairing the Network of Institutions for Future Generations.
Prior to this 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. She reformed programmes on
substance misuse and offender management and led the first police programme designed
to address childhood adversities.
Sophie has served as an Adviser to two Welsh First Ministers providing policy and political
advice on communities, local government, equality and community safety where she led to
development of Wales’ first legislation to tackle violence against women and girls.
She was an elected Councillor for 9 years from the age of 21 and she wrote the 2009 report
of the Councillors Commission which led to legislative reforms on increasing diversity
amongst elected members. She has a background in equality and diversity having managed
the Legal Department of the Equal Opportunities Commission.
She is named in the top 100 Business Women in Wales, is a fellow at Cardiff University
Business School and Swansea University, holds an Honorary Doctorate from the University
of Wales Trinity Saint David and a degree in law and politics. She lives in Cardiff with her
husband and their five children.