Kirsty Williams was born in 1971 and grew up in Carmarthenshire. She attended St Michaels School in Llanelli before going on to studying American Studies at Manchester University and the University of Missouri.
After graduating, she worked for Carmarthenshire College and as a Marketing Executive for a small Cardiff-based business, before relocating to Brecon & Radnorshire. She married her husband Richard in 2000 and they live with their three daughters on the family farm just outside Brecon.
A political campaigner from a young age, Kirsty joined the Liberal Party when she was 15 and was a passionate advocate for Welsh devolution. She was heavily involved in the historic ‘Yes’ campaign for the 1997 referendum and subsequently served on the National Assembly Advisory Group.
She was the youngest person elected to the newly established National Assembly for Wales (now Senedd Cymru-Welsh Parliament) in 1999 and has proudly served Brecon & Radnorshire since.
Kirsty won widespread early recognition for her work as Chair of the Health and Social Services Committee and her campaigning on issues affecting rural communities, including the lack of mental health support services and the social impact of the Foot-and-Mouth crisis.
Highlighting the distinct challenges faced by people living in Brecon & Radnorshire’s varied and diverse communities, and relentlessly championing social justice, have been key themes throughout her 20 years in the Senedd.
Making history again, Kirsty became the first female Welsh party leader in 2008. As Welsh Liberal Democrat leader, she gained a national reputation as an effective campaigner, achieving the ‘Welsh Pupil Premium’, which has invested £282million in supporting Wales’ most disadvantaged pupils, and leading the successful ‘More Nurses’ campaign to guarantee safe nurse staffing levels in law.
In May 2016, she was appointed Welsh Education Minister. As a Minister, she has overseen many new policies including; expanding the Pupil Premium, launching the largest investment in school buildings for decades, creating fairer student finance, increasing the number of medical and nursing students, introducing a ‘presumption against closure’ for rural schools, and delivering school curriculum reforms - which will see Wales become a world leader in LGBT-inclusive Relationships and Sexuality Education.
During her time in the Senedd, Kirsty has supported thousands of local events, causes, businesses and charities and helped thousands of constituents with individual casework.
The Covid-19 pandemic poses unprecedented challenges for Mid-Wales, but Kirsty’s passion for where she lives and her commitment to seeing everyone have the services and opportunities to help them thrive remains undimmed.
As a tireless champion for her community, Kirsty will continue to stand up and make the voice of Brecon & Radnorshire heard in Cardiff Bay.