The University of Wales is delighted to announce that Natalie Williams has been appointed as the new Director of the University of Wales Press.
Born and bred in Cardiff, Natalie brings a great understanding of the publishing world to the role. Achieving a BA (Hons) in English Literature and Philosophy at the University of Southampton, she started her publishing career in academic Law at Oxford University Press. She then moved on to Nelson Thornes, where she held the role of Senior Publisher responsible for its secondary Maths portfolio and UK publishing strategy. For the past three years, Natalie has run her own consultancy business, working for publishers including Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Hodder Education, Pearson Education and HarperCollins alongside undertaking an Executive Master of Business Administration at Cardiff University.
Founded in 1922, the University of Wales Press (UWP) has a proud tradition of serving Wales and all its universities by publishing outstanding scholarly publications in both Welsh and English to further knowledge and to inspire scholars and students alike. It passionately believes in supporting and disseminating scholarship from and about Wales to a worldwide audience.
Since its foundation, UWP has published over 3,500 titles, and at present publishes around 50 titles a year, primarily in the fields of European studies, philosophy, literature, history, and Welsh and Celtic studies. Since 2009, its e-book publication list has risen to around 300 currently available digital editions.
Over the years UWP has been responsible for producing important reference publications in both Welsh and English, most notably The Welsh Academy English-Welsh Dictionary (1995), The New Companion to the Literature of Wales (1998), and the monumental achievement of The Welsh Academy Encyclopaedia of Wales (2008).
Speaking about her new role, in which she will officially start in April, Natalie said:
“I am thrilled to be joining the University of Wales Press as Director, and I feel proud to have the opportunity to lead an institution that has the heritage and history of Wales at its heart. The Press plays such a vital role in promoting and protecting Welsh language, community, culture and research, and I am honoured to be joining my fellow advocates within the Welsh community to further this mission. These are times of change within both the University and publishing landscapes, which bring challenges but provide a wealth of exciting opportunities for the Press. Together with a passionate and dedicated team, I look forward to continuing and growing the educational excellence of the Press both at home and abroad.”
The Press is in a unique position as the only not-for-profit academic press in Wales, and with the support of the University of Wales it has been able to remain faithful to its founding mission.
Welcoming Natalie to the University of Wales Press, Professor Medwin Hughes, Vice-chancellor of the University of Wales, said:
“I am delighted to welcome Natalie to this role on behalf of the University and all her new colleagues. Over the past century, the University of Wales Press has provided a platform for Wales’s foremost thinkers and has contributed to the building of modern Wales. Its role in furthering the understanding of Wales’s unique culture, history, heritage, language and politics is critical.”
Mr Tony Ball, Chair of the University of Wales Press Board and University Council member, added:
“Natalie joins the University of Wales Press at a very exciting time. As well as consolidating its worldwide reputation for academic publishing, she will be looking for new areas of opportunity following the merger of the University of Wales and University of Wales Trinity Saint David. In addition, preparations will begin to celebrate the approaching centenary of the Press. We are confident she is knowledgeable, experienced and will be a great asset in leading the Press over the coming years.”