Paul Silk was named as chair of the Commission by the Secretary of State for Wales on 11 October 2011. He is a former Clerk to the National Assembly for Wales, serving from March 2001 until December 2006. During this period he was the most senior official in the Assembly and acted as the principal advisor to the Presiding Officer and was responsible for all the services that are delivered to Assembly Members through the Assembly Parliamentary Service.
He was a Clerk in the House of Commons from 1975-1977 and 1979-2001 clerking at different times three different departmental select committees – the Foreign Affairs (1998-2001), Home Affairs (1989-1993) and Energy (1984-1989) Committees. He is also a former Clerk of the Welsh Grand Committee, the Clerk in charge of the Government of Wales Bill and contributed to drafting the first standing orders of the National Assembly for Wales. He was Director of Strategic Projects in the House of Commons from 2007 to 2010.
He has also worked as Presidential Adviser in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and has written and lectured extensively on Parliament and the constitution. He is an honorary Professor at the Wales Governance Centre at Cardiff University, and works regularly for the Westminster Foundation for Democracy. He was born in Crickhowell and lives near there now.