Mr Rowlands has a background in local government and education. He was the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for St Albans at the 1997 general election and is leader of the Liberal Democrat group on St Albans City and DC. Mr Rowlands is a former teacher and a graduate of Oxford University, where he read modern history.
He commented on his appointment: 'I am tremendously excited about working for the Centre for Reform. The role of director offers an unparalleled opportunity to develop political ideas and policies for the new century; ideas that will embrace the core values of liberty, equality and community.
'Many of the more successful policy initiatives introduced by this government have their root in Liberal Democrat policies. Our development of political thought has been influential through the 1990s. Public life can be transformed further by the application of Liberal Democrat principles. I want to engage people from all walks of life in devising new and relevant ideas. After all, politics is not the domain solely of any narrow group.'