Martin Williams worked as a senior civil servant in Whitehall, mostly on education and industrial relations questions. For more than 10 years he was responsible for higher education policy, including involvement in the 2004 and 2010 funding changes and sponsorship of the Higher Education Funding Council for England. From 2014 to 2020 he was director of the Office of Manpower Economics, an independent civil service organisation which supports the pay review bodies, offering recommendations to government that affect £1 billion of public sector pay expenditure. He is currently Treasurer of the Committee of University Chairs and a board member of the University and Colleges Employers Association. Martin grew up in Carlisle from 1962 to 1977, and since his wife’s family comes from S. Cumbria he spends each summer around Barrow and Ulverston.