Lord Williams of Baglan, Trustee

The challenges facing the BBC are many and some quite formidable

About Lord Williams

Raised in South Wales, Lord Williams aspired to an international career from an early age. He studied at University College London and the School of Oriental and African Studies in London where he gained his Ph.D. and M.Sc. before starting his career with Amnesty International. In 1984 he joined the BBC World Service as an editor, where he formed a lifelong bond with the corporation – its people and its ethos.

Following his time at the World Service, he moved to the United Nations where he was based in Cambodia as Deputy Director for Human Rights; in former Yugoslavia as Director for Information; Geneva as Adviser to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and New York as Director, Office for Children and Armed Conflict. Between 2000 and 2005 he was Special Adviser to two Foreign Secretaries: Robin Cook, and then Jack Straw. During that time he also continued his contribution to the BBC as a board member of the BBC World Service Trust.

More recently he has worked once again for the United Nations and returned from Beirut in 2011 after three years as Under-Secretary General, UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon.

He was appointed to the House of Lords in October 2010 and joined the BBC Trust in December 2011.

Lord Williams says:

"As someone whose career has been driven by news, I think the BBC is the best news provider in the contemporary world. It has a reach that few others can match. I've come across political leaders throughout the world who rely on and have great respect for the BBC.

"The challenges facing the BBC are many and some quite formidable. Firstly, the difficult economic circumstances, not just for the BBC but for the global economy. A second challenge is the increasingly competitive market. I think the BBC will be able to meet these challenges, and in some ways will be able to define itself more strongly against its rivals, most of whom respect the BBC a great deal."