President / Llywydd 2015: Dr Hywel Ceri Jones CMG

HywelHywel was born in Neath, the son of a Welsh minister and chaired bard at the National Eisteddfod of Wales, and was raised in Port Talbot and then Clydach in the Swansea Valley. He was educated at Pontardawe Grammar School before going on to study at the University of Aberystwyth where he graduated with honours in French, qualified as a teacher and pursued research into the life and work of Henri Barbusse, a French writer.

Following a year as President of the Students’ Union at Aberystwyth University, Hywel moved to take up  a position at the new University of Sussex, where he held a variety of posts before serving as a right hand to its Vice-Chancellor, Professor (Lord) Asa Briggs working on the academic planning and development of the university .

Hywel and his family moved to Brussels in 1973 and was one of the first senior appointments from the UK to be made in the European Commission (in the year of entry of the UK into the then EEC), with his nomination to head its first Department for Education and Youth Policy. For over twenty years he served as Director of Education and Training Policy before being appointed by the Commission to the post of Director General for Employment, Social Policy and Industrial Relations. During this period, Hywel was also responsible for the launch of the Erasmus scheme, the largest inter-university and student exchange programme in the world.

On his early retirement from the Commission, Hywel served as European Adviser to the Secretary of State for Wales  and chaired an all-Wales Task Force to prepare the Welsh Assembly for its European responsibilities. He presented the BBC Wales Lecture of the Year in 1999. He also chaired the European Policy Centre (EPC), a leading think-tank, and directed the European Network of Foundations (NEF) developing a variety of multi-national projects .

Hywel is currently a trustee of the National Museum of Wales and of the Equal Rights Trust , chairman  of the Wales Governance Centre at the University of Cardiff , Vice-President of the Llangollen International Eisteddfod, a co-director of Cymru Yfory (Tomorrow’s Wales) and is a member of the Gorsedd of Bards.

Hywel has been awarded the Winston Churchill and Eisenhower Fellowships, a number of doctorates by Welsh and European universities, as well as the Gold Medal of Italy for services to education and culture in Europe, and was awarded the CMG in 1998 by the HM the Queen.

Married to Morwenna , they have 2 children, Hannah and Gwilym.  Hywel  and Morwenna have now moved back to Wales, living in Penarth whilst maintaining  close contacts with London. Hywel is a keen supporter of the Scarlets and of the London Welsh Rugby team, and enjoys travelling and reading Welsh poetry.


Ganwyd Hywel yng Nghastell Nedd yn fab i weinidog a phrifardd yn yr Eisteddfod Genedlaethol, a chafodd ei fagu ym Mhort Talbot ac yng Nghlydach yng Nghwmtawe. Bu’n ddisgybl yn Ysgol Ramadeg Pontardawe cyn mynchu Prifysgol Aberystwyth. Graddiodd yno gydag anrhydedd mewn Ffrangeg, gan baratoi i fod yn athro ac ymchwilio i fywyd a gwaith Henri Barbusse, llenor Ffrengig.

 Ar ol blwyddyn fel llywydd Undeb Myfyrwyr Aberystwyth, symudodd i Brifysgol newydd Sussex ac am gyfnod o unarddeg mlynedd bu’n gweithio mewn gwahanol swyddi  yno, cyn cael ei benodi yn law dde i‘r Athro (Arglwydd) Asa Briggs, sef yr Is-Ganghellor, i wneud gwaith cynllunio a datblygu’r Brifysgol.

 Symudodd Hywel a’i deulu  i Frwsel ym 1973 (y flwyddyn yr ymunodd  Prydain Fawr a’r Undeb Ewropeaidd) i swydd yn y Comisiwn Ewropeaidd fel pennaeth cyntaf adran newydd Polisi Addysg a Ieuenctid. Am ugain mlynedd bu’n gyfarwyddwr Addysg a Hyfforddiant, cyn cael ei benodi  gan y Comisiwn yn  Gyfarwyddwr Cyffredinol Polisi Gwaith a Chymdeithasol.

 Ar ol ymddeol, bu Hywel yn cadeirio Canolfan Bolisi Dyfodol Ewrop (EPC) ac yn gyfarwyddwr rhwydwaith Ewropeaidd o sefydliadau elusengar (foundations) yn hybu prosiectau traws-genedlaethol.

 Mae Hywel yn ymddiriedolwr Amgueddfa Genedlaethol Cymru, yn gadeirydd Canolfan Llywodraethu Cymru ym Mhrifysgol Caerdydd, yn Is-lywydd Eisteddfod Ryngwladol Llangollen ac yn  gyd-gyfarwyddwr Cymru Yfory.

Yn briod â Morwenna, mae ganddynt ddau o blant, Hannah a Gwilym. Penodwyd Hywel yn CMG ym 1998, a derbyniodd hefyd Fedal Aur yr Eidal am ei wasanaeth i ddiwylliant ac addysg Ewrop, ac amryw o anrhydeddau gan brifysgolion ar draws Ewrop.

Erbyn hyn, mae Hywel wedi symud yn ol i Benarth i fyw, ond yn dal perthynas agos â Llundain. Mae Hywel yn cefnogi’r Sgarlets a thîm rygbi Cymry Llundain, ac yn hoff iawn o deithio a darllen barddoniaeth Gymraeg.