Welsh Minister Visits Philadelphia

On Thursday, March 1, 2019 the BABCPHL welcomed the Welsh Government Minister for International Relations and the Welsh Language, Eluned Morgan, Baroness Morgan of Ely, Labour Assembly Member in the National Assembly of Wales to Philadelphia for an official visit and exclusive, by invitation only VIP lunch hosted by Drinker, Biddle & Reath LLP. The Minister’s day in Philadelphia began with private sector company meetings and a visit with Mayor Kenney and the Commerce Department. Mayor Kenney and Minister Morgan share similar political views on several hot button topics. The Minister led an open forum discussion with the BABCPHL about pressing global matters during the last stop on her itinerary in Philadelphia.

Jill Bronson, Regional Partner in Charge of the Philadelphia Office of Drinker Biddle & Reath, welcomed the Minster and all attendees to the Firm’s beautiful board room overlooking the Parkway. Michael Pedrick, BABCPHL President, thanked Jill and everyone for gathering. He introduced the Minister, whose political career started at the age of 27 when she was elected as the youngest Member of the European Parliament in 1994. Minister Morgan was only the fifth woman elected to a full-time political position in the history of Wales, and the first full-time politician in Wales to have a baby while in office. She is a former Member of the European Parliament who represented Wales for the Labour Party from 1994-2009. In this role she became the Labour spokesperson on industry, science and energy and spokesperson for the 200 strong Socialist Group on Budget Control matters. She authored the Green Paper on energy on behalf of the EP and led the Parliament’s discussions on the Electricity Directive where she ensured new rights for consumers and demanded that Member States of the EU addressed the issue of fuel poverty. From late 2009 until July 2013 she worked as the Director of National Business Development in Wales for SSE (SWALEC), one of the UK’s largest energy companies. She was responsible for the establishment of the SWALEC Smart Energy Centre in Treforest. She was also appointed as the Chair of the Cardiff Business Partnership. From 2013-2016 she served as the Shadow Minister for Wales in the House of Lords, and from 2014-2016 she served as Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs and also as a whip. In 2018 she stood as the only female candidate in the Labour Party Leadership election to succeed Carwyn Jones as First Minister. The new First Minister, Mark Drakeford named her as Minister for International Relations and the Welsh Language in his new cabinet.

Minister Morgan chose Philadelphia as her first official overseas trip in her new position. She began her brief presentation to BABCPHL guests highlighting the strong historic and commercial ties between the greater Philadelphia region and Wales. Minister Morgan talked about the stability of the Welsh government; the economy and the investment climate; the Welsh position on Brexit; climate change; energy; and other important issues. She encouraged unrestricted dialogue with attendees. While most questions focused on Brexit, tariffs, and the possible scenarios that could develop during the coming weeks, other areas of discussion included the evolution of the Welsh economy from mining, to agriculture and high-tech, sustainability, education, and legislation that will affect the next generation, specifically the Well-Being of Future Generations Act.

Minster Morgan’s visit coincided with St. David’s Day – a Welsh national holiday in commemoration of St. David, the patron saint of Wales. It is a day of celebration of both St. David’s life and of the Welsh culture in Wales and abroad. The BABCPHL was honored to welcome Minister Morgan to the City on the commemorative St. David’s Day, and extends sincere gratitude to BABCPHL Club Level Member, Drinker Biddle & Reath for hosting the Minister for a delicious lunch, including homemade St. David’s Day Welsh cakes in the Philadelphia Office.

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The BABCPHL recognizes our Club Level Members:

  • Almac
  • American Airlines
  • Baker Tilly
  • Citrin Cooperman
  • Duane Morris
  • EisnerAmper LLP
  • Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
  • Forensic Resolutions
  • Johnson, Kendall & Johnson, Inc.
  • Johnson Matthey
  • Morgan Lewis
  • Olympus
  • Penn Medicine