Mr Roberts was the Labour Party organiser in charge of rebuilding local parties after disappointing results in 1999 Welsh Assembly and local government elections, retaking Rhondda, Llanelli and Islwyn from Plaid Cymru in 2003 Assembly elections, and regaining Rhondda Cynon Taf and Caerphilly councils from Plaid Cymru in 2004 local government elections.
Secretary of state for Wales Peter Hain said: 'Chris will be a dynamic Welsh Labour chief with the necessary leadership skills to renew the party as we must do.
'I was impressed with his vision of a vigorously campaigning Welsh Labour Party. We face tough fights in forthcoming elections, and Chris has a clear strategy to put our traditional Welsh Labour values into a progressive setting to build a world class Wales.'
Jessica Morden said: 'Chris was instrumental in our work on the ground with local parties after our 1999 results, rebuilding our support across the Valleys, and regaining seats including Rhondda, Llanelli and Islwyn.'
Mr Roberts grew up in Wrexham, studying in Lancaster, Valencia and Swansea. After working for Wrexham Labour Party he became Labour's North Wales organiser. After teaching in Spain he became manager of the European Centre for Traditional and Regional Cultures in Llangollen. He worked for Eluned Morgan MEP in Carmarthen, then for Richard Edwards AM in Haverfordwest, before becoming a Welsh Labour organiser, with responsibility for the South Wales valleys.