Meet the ColegauCymru Team

IestynDavies.jpg Welsh language speaker

Chief Executive

Iestyn Davies
About Iestyn Davies

Iestyn Davies took up post of Chief Executive Officer in 2015 having worked across a range of public policy areas since the arrival of Devolution in 1999. In addition to being the staff lead for the work of the CollegesWales Principals’ Forum, he is an ex-officio member of the charity’s Board of Trustees. An experienced campaigner, he is a frequent speaker at events and conferences as well as a contributor to broadcast and print media on the subject of post-16 education.


Director of Finance

Carolyn Thomas
About Carolyn Thomas

Carolyn has worked in the further education sector since 1991, having previously been an accountant for a small college. She has worked as CollegesWales Finance Director since 2004 and is a fellow of the ACCA.

RachelBowen copy.jpg

Director of Policy and Public Affairs

Dr Rachel Bowen
About Dr Rachel Bowen

Originally from Llanelli, Dr Rachel Bowen studied history at Cardiff University, obtaining a PhD in 2006. Rachel has had a varied career to date, having spent time in the civil service (Equalities, Education and Agriculture Departments), as a music librarian at Cardiff Central Library, and working on pan-Wales public engagement projects at Cardiff University. More recently she has focused on public policy, research and campaigning roles including periods at Mind Cymru and FSB Wales. Having maintained a keen interest in education and education policy throughout her career, Rachel joined CollegesWales as Director of Policy and Development in November 2016. Rachel is a Welsh learner and is a Spanish learner thanks to Duolingo.
Rachel also teachers adult learners and undergraduates at Cardiff University. Her research interests cover the late medieval and early modern period. She is particularly interested in gender, sexuality and identity. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, running (especially visiting European cities to take part in marathons and half marathons) and enduring/enjoying watching the Llanelli Scarlets and Cardiff Devils.


Director of Development

Kelly Edwards
About Kelly Edwards

Kelly leads the CollegesWales Development Programme which aims to enrich the learning experience and enhance learning outcomes for the further education sector. She works with the Principals’ Forum and the Board of Directors to ensure the Programme is aligned to the vision and mission of the charity.

SianHolleran.png.jpeg Welsh language speaker

Project Manager - European and International

Siân Holleran
About Siân Holleran

Siân joined CollegesWales as European and International Coordinator in November 2010. Her main areas of work include coordinating a programme of overseas training opportunities for staff, learners and apprentices, acting for the Welsh Government as the National Contact Point for EU initiatives and selling Wales to the world through working collaboratively with international partners.    
Siân is fluent in French, Spanish and Welsh and previously worked for CILT Cymru, the national centre for languages, promoting the learning of modern languages as a valuable skill for young people in an increasingly globalised world. She continues to share her love of languages and the cultures of other countries by promoting the benefits to young people of spending periods of time studying or working overseas. Siân also represents the further education sector on the steering group of Routes into Languages Cymru.   


Project Manager - Sport and Well-being

Rob Baynham
About Rob Baynham

With over 20 years experience in the further education sector, Rob has been involved in a wide variety of regional and national initiatives and projects with the current focus moving towards well being and employability of FE students. As National Sports Coordinator for FE in Wales, Rob’s responsibilities include managing Welsh Colleges Sport and developing participation, volunteering and sporting pathways for FE students. Since Rob joined CollegesWales in 2014, an additional 3,000+ FE students have participated in different initiatives with over 100 new student leaders created to support college projects. New initiatives and developments in participation and employability opportunities have also continued to rise.

NiaBrodrick.jpg Welsh language speaker

Project Officer

Nia Brodrick
About Nia Brodrick

Nia has worked in the further sector since 2013. She is currently the CollegesWales Project Officer, a role which involves co-ordinating projects such as Work Welsh, Mental Health and the current EQAVET restricted call 3.



Finance Officer

Gill Barclay
About Gill Barclay

Gill works as CollegesWales' Finance Officer. Additional to this role, she leads on the IT support and facilities management of the organisation.


ALN Transformation Lead FE

Chris Denham
About Chris Denham

Chris' career started working in the construction industry in Surrey before completing his Cert Ed at Huddersfield Polytechnic and then moving to Pontypool to take up a lecturing post at Pontypool College. Chris was instrumental in setting up the first special needs link courses with Crownbridge Special School in the late 1980s and after some retraining, he developed a new full-time special needs programme at Pontypool. As this provision grew, he recognised the need for support within mainstream and so took an additional qualification in specific learning difficulties and established a support centre at the college.

Following incorporation and the creation of Coleg Gwent, Chris occupied several management posts before taking on the role of ALN Manager for Coleg Gwent in 2014. During this time he also represented the college on the ColegauCymru ALN Network, performing the role of Chair from 2014.

Chris has worked closely with Welsh Government over the last four years to help shape the Additional Learning Needs and Educational Tribunal (ALNET) Act and Code of Practice. He took up his current post with CollegesWales in January 2018 and continues to support colleges across Wales as they prepare for the implementation of ALNET.

LucyHopkins.jpeg Welsh language speaker

Communications Manager

Lucy Hopkins
About Lucy Hopkins

Lucy manages our communications and marketing activities, in line with the organisation’s strategic objectives. She ensures our communications are both influential, informative and appropriate to our stakeholders.

AmyEvans.jpg Welsh language speaker

Policy Officer (Maternity Leave)

Amy Evans
About Amy Evans

Amy graduated from Swansea University in 2011 with a degree in Media and Communications. Following 5 years in the retail sector, she joined CollegesWales as a Receptionist. In May 2017, she took on the the role of Public Affairs Assistant and since March 2020 has been working as our Policy Officer. Amy is a fluent Welsh speaker.

RachelRimanti1.png Welsh language speaker

Executive Administrative Assistant

Rachel Rimanti
About Rachel Rimanti

With 10 years of administrative experience, Rachel is the Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive and provides administrative support to the organisation. She manages the delivery of key meetings including the Further Education Principals’ Forum.  

5-WCC Melusi 2021 Hires-8018.jpg

Policy and Public Affairs Assistant

Melusi Moyo
About Melusi Moyo

Melusi graduated in Politics and International Relations at the University of the West of England in 2020. He went on to intern at the Wales Co-operative Centre’s Policy and Communications department supporting the Welsh Government ‘Digital Communities Wales’ inclusion project and promoting the work of social enterprises across Wales.

Melusi took on the role of Policy and Public Affairs Assistant at ColegauCymru in November 2021.

Content will populate this