Deputy Minister for Climate Change
Key interests and
Lee Waters is the Welsh Labour
and Co-operative Member of the Welsh Parliament 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 children.
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
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 cycling.
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.
Following the 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