Baroness Valerie Amos CH, PC
Director, SOAS University of London
Valerie Ann Amos, Baroness Amos, CH, PC is a British Labour Party politician and diplomat who served as the eighth UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator. Before her appointment to the UN, she served as British High Commissioner to Australia. She has created a life peer in 1997, becoming Leader of the House of Lords and Lord President of the Council.
When Amos was appointed Secretary of State for International Development in 2003, following the resignation of Clare Short, she became the first black woman to sit in the Cabinet of the United Kingdom. She left the Cabinet when Gordon Brown became Prime Minister. In July 2010 Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon announced Baroness Amos's appointment to the role of Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator.
She took up the position in 2010 and remained in post until 29 May 2015. In September 2015 Amos was appointed Director of SOAS, University of London, becoming the first black woman to lead a university in the United Kingdom. In 2019, it was announced that Amos will become the first-ever black head of an Oxford college, University College, from 1 August 2020, succeeding Sir Ivor Crewe.