Learned Society of Wales elects Sir Emyr Jones Parry to be its next President

Sir Emyr Jones Parry

The former diplomat, Sir Emyr Jones Parry GCMG FInstP FLSW is the new President-elect of the Learned Society of Wales (LSW).  He will begin his three-year term of office as President on 14 May 2014.  The appointment follows a ballot of all LSW Fellows which resulted in an overwhelming response in favour of his election.

Sir Emyr joined the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) in 1973.  During a career in HM Diplomatic Service spanning 34 years, he specialised in multilateral diplomacy and in European Union affairs.  He is best known for his final diplomatic posting, that of Ambassador to the United Nations in New York, where he represented the UK in the Security Council for more than 4 years (2003 – 2007).  He chaired the Security Council for four terms and negotiated more than 250 Security Council Resolutions.

Earlier during his diplomatic career Sir Emyr served as the FCO Director, responsible for European Union policy, and served as part of the Presidency team for five of the first six UK Presidencies of the European Community and then European Union.  Between 2001 and 2013 he was the UK’s Permanent Representative to the North Atlantic Council in Brussels.

Prior to taking up his career in the diplomatic service, Sir Emyr was a physicist, gaining his Bachelor’s degree and a Postgraduate Diploma in Crystallography at University College Cardiff, where he read Theoretical Physics.  He then moved on to Cambridge University (St Catharine’s College), where he worked in the Cavendish Laboratory and gained a PhD in Polymer Physics.  He is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics.

 Sir Emyr will succeed Sir John Cadogan CBE DSc FRSE FRSC MAE PLSW FRS, who has served as the Society’s Inaugural President since its launch in 2010.  Under Sir John’s leadership, the Society has made significant progress towards establishing itself as a stable and sustainable organization that is acknowledged both as the recognised representative of the world of Welsh learning internationally and as a source of authoritative, scholarly and critical comment and advice on policy issues affecting Wales.

Commenting on the election, Sir John said: “I am delighted by Sir Emyr Jones Parry’s election to be my successor.  His public profile and his great breadth of experience will greatly benefit the Learned Society of Wales.”

A Welsh speaker, Sir Emyr was born in Carmarthenshire in 1947 and attended Gwendraeth Grammar School.  Since his retirement from the Diplomatic Service in 2007, Sir Emyr has been committed to giving something back to the country that ‘forged’ him.  He was Chair of the All Wales Convention which reported in November 2009 on future powers of the National Assembly for Wales.  Since 2008, he has served as President of Aberystwyth University and as Chair of its Council.  He is also Chair of the Wales Millennium Centre, Honorary President of the Welsh Centre for International Affairs, and Chair of REDRESS, an NGO that campaigns against torture.

Sir Emyr was elected to be a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales in 2013.  He is an Honorary Fellow of Cardiff and Aberystwyth Universities, of the University of Wales Trinity St David and of St Catharine’s College Cambridge, and holds the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws of the University of Wales.

Sir Emyr said:  “It is a great privilege to take on this role, and in particular to follow Sir John Cadogan who has contributed so much to the establishment of the Learned Society.  I look forward to working with colleagues to build on that work and enhance the recognition of the scholarship of Wales.”

For more information about the election of the President, contact the Society’s Chief Executive, Dr Lynn Williams, on 029 2037 6951.