Dawn Bowden has been appointed deputy minister for arts and sport following a cabinet reshuffle in the newly re-elected Welsh Government. She also becomes chief whip.
Bowden is the Labour member of the Senedd for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney. She replaces Dafydd Elis-Thomas, who did not stand in this year’s election.
Born in Bristol, Bowden began her career as a secretary, with roles in the National Health Service and Bristol City Council. She moved to south Wales in 1989 and was head of health for the trade union Unison before her election to the Welsh Assembly in 2016. This will be her first government post.
Bowden’s portfolio includes arts, culture, museums and the historic environment.
In a blog following her appointment, Bowden wrote: “It is a fantastic honour to serve in the Welsh Government and I will of course take on the role with enthusiasm, using the knowledge I have gained, while never forgetting the Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney constituency – which is the reason that I came in to politics in the first place.”
First minister Mark Drakeford said of the new cabinet: “There will be challenges ahead of us – the pandemic is a public health and economic emergency with long-lasting impacts on all our lives – but this is a talented and committed team, determined to make a positive difference to Wales and for Wales. We will use all our efforts and energies to create a stronger, fairer and greener Wales, where no one is held back or left behind.”