Mr Hugh Morgan Williams, OBE, BA
Hugh Morgan Williams is a policy adviser and leading businessman in the North East of England. He is currently Chairman of Canford Group plc which is involved in the manufacture and distribution of professional audio, broadcast and security equipment which he founded in 1985. Initially he served as the company's Finance Director and was in charge of corporate communications and supplier relationships. He set up a French subsidiary in 1989 and was responsible for the development of an export strategy and a multi lingual and cultural strategy which has led to a significant growth in overseas sales. Since becoming a non executive director of Canford Group plc in 1999 he has established a small personal portfolio of directorships with a technology and media focus.
Following his graduation from Durham University in 1974 with a BA Honours degree in Modern History, Hugh trained as a broadcast journalist, starting work in 1974 and culminating as News Editor of Radio Tees in Stockton.
He has been Governor of CILT, the National Centre for Languages responsible for setting language standards in business and providing teaching support for modern languages, and was a member of the Nuffield Languages enquiry in May 2000 which set a strategic framework for the teaching of modern foreign languages throughout the education system.
Hugh was Chairman of the Northern Way, a policy think tank advising the three northern regional development agencies until 2011; Chairman of the North East Access to Finance Ltd addressing SME gap funding and Chairman of Capital North East, a regional venture capital fund. He has been a CBI regional spokesman since 1995. He is a former Regional CBI Chairman and has served as Chairman of the CBI National SME Council with additional responsibility for European relations, and as CBI national spokesman on regional and economic issues. He was a Board member of One North East from 1988-2001 and chaired its audit committee. He has also been a member of the North East Industrial Development Board.
Hugh has two daughters who graduated from Durham in June 2006 and June 2009.
Hugh was appointed as a lay member of the University Council from 1 August 2006. He serves on a number of Committees including the Finance & General Purposes Committee and the Ethics Committee. He also chairs the Trevelyan College Council and is a member of the Advisory Board for the Sri Lanka Project. He has a special interest in the University's Health and Safety and serves as the lay member on the Health and Safety and Strategy Committee.