1st April 2023
JEN HEAL CONFIRMED AS DEPUTY CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF THE DESIGN COMMISSION FOR WALES
Design Advisor Jen Heal has been confirmed as the Deputy Chief Executive of the Design Commission for Wales.
A Chartered Town Planner with a background in planning and urban design in private and public sector practice, Jen first joined the Design Commission in 2014, devising and leading much of its training and client support programmes and co-chairing its national Design Review Service. During her time at the Design Commission Jen has also served as a Commissioner for the South East Wales Transport Commission. She now leads the placemaking agenda for the Design Commission, advising on policy, supporting practice and leading the development of the Placemaking Wales Charter and guidance.
With significant professional experience in the private sector, Jen studied City & Regional Planning, has an MA in Urban Design from Cardiff University and is a fully accredited member of the Royal Town Planning Institute (MRTPI). In her previous roles, Jen led a diverse range of urban design, planning and regeneration projects for public, private and third sector clients; delivered design concepts, town centre strategies, environmental improvement schemes and complex planning applications as well as developing engagement and training programmes.
Commenting on the promotion, Chief Executive Carole-Anne Davies said: “Jen is an outstanding professional and valued colleague. She is a talented placemaking specialist and a passionate advocate for the importance of good design. Jen has the leadership capability required for this role and has long demonstrated her ability to engage with and support colleagues across sectors, in local authorities and the Welsh Government.
“Jen is particularly adept at equipping others with the knowledge and understanding of how to create better mixed-use communities with a sense of place in the context of change for existing settlements or new development. I am pleased to confirm Jen’s promotion as we come to the end of events which mark our 20th Anniversary and move forward to further accelerating positive change and creating the conditions for everyday excellence in design in the context of climate and nature emergencies. I’m delighted to have her by my side and I know she will thrive in the role and continue to strengthen our skilled and agile team. ”
Jen Heal said: “The value of design to Wales and the UK should not be underestimated. It is a major economic driver and enabler of social value, particularly as we work towards net zero. I’m delighted to have the opportunity to step-up and continue with the excellent work that we deliver as a team. It’s making a difference to communities the length and breadth of Wales and I’m proud of all that we do.”
As an expert body, the Design Commission for Wales was established by the National Assembly for Wales in 2002 to promote good design. With a remit spanning the whole of the built environment in Wales, the expert, multi-disciplinary team works with local planning authorities, investors, developers, communities and commissioning clients across Wales to capture the value of high quality design.