Professor Mike Sullivan, image of Morgan Academy logo including Swansea University's coat of arms and First Minister Mark Drakeford

On the 27 June at The Senedd, the Morgan Academy hosted a celebration of the life and legacy of Professor Mike Sullivan, former director of the Academy. A number of leading Welsh politicians, including First Minister Mark Drakeford, gathered at a celebration to mark the life and legacy of Professor Sullivan.

An internationally-renowned social scientist, Professor Sullivan published widely on public policy, education, devolution, social reform and the effect of the state on the family.

One of his achievements was to establish Swansea University’s Morgan Academy, named after former First Minister Rhodri Morgan, with whom Professor Sullivan worked, both as specialist adviser to the Welsh Ministers and at Swansea University where Rhodri was Chancellor from 2011 to 2017.

As Vice President for International Strategic Partnerships at Swansea University, Professor Sullivan led on relationships with universities in Spain and Texas in particular, and his recent work included the development of the Hillary Clinton PhD programme, in conjunction with the Welsh Government and Columbia University in New York.

Letter from Hillary Rodham Clinton that was read aloud at Remembering Mike Sullivan event at the Senedd on 27 June 2019

Hillary Rodham Clinton and Professor Mike Sullivan at Woebly Castle, Gower Peninsula in June 2018

(Read an accessible version of Hillary Rodham Clinton's letter here)     (Photo: Hillary Rodham Clinton and Professor Mike Sullivan in 2018)


Described by Hillary Clinton as “a remarkable man of great vision”, Mike recorded numerous dialogues with many influencers in public policy during the first two decades of Welsh devolution, reflecting especially on Rhodri Morgan’s political legacy and the nature of the ‘social democracy with a Welsh stripe’ that has emerged.

At the event, insights from these dialogues were shared, with opportunity for discussion with some of the ministers and assembly members who were involved.

Other contributions were made by colleagues who worked with Mike on several milestone achievements at Swansea University, including the establishment of international research partnerships and latterly, a remarkable relationship between Swansea University and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

A video of the event can be viewed below.