Vaughan was born in Zambia and brought up in Dorset. He was educated at Aberystwyth and Cardiff universities. He has one son with his wife, Michelle and is a largely retired cricketer who is also a fan of both rugby and football.
Vaughan was a solicitor and former partner at Thompsons. He is a member of the GMB, UNISON and Unite unions, and was the youngest ever President of the Wales TUC. He has previously served as a county councillor, school governor and community service volunteer – supporting and caring for a student with cerebral palsy. Vaughan is also a former president of NUS Wales.
Between 1999 and 2001, Vaughan worked as a researcher to former AMs Val Feld and Lorraine Barrett and between 2001 and 2003, was the chair of Right to Vote – a cross-party project to encourage greater participation from black minority ethnic communities in Welsh public life. He is also a current member of the Co-operative Party.
Vaughan has held the following roles in government, before taking up his current role as Minister for the Economy in May 2021: