Valerie Amos

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Person.png Valerie Amos   Powerbase SourcewatchRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(politician)
Valerie Amos.jpg
BornValerie Ann Amos
13 March 1954
Georgetown, British Guiana
Alma materUniversity of Birmingham, University of Warwick, University of East Anglia
ReligionChristian
Member ofEuropean Council on Foreign Relations
PartyLabour
British Labour politician

Employment.png UK/High Commissione/Australia

In office
1 October 2009 - 1 September 2010

Employment.png Leader of the House of Lords Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
6 October 2003 - 27 June 2007
Succeeded byCatherine Ashton

Employment.png Lord President of the Council

In office
6 October 2003 - 27 June 2007
Succeeded byCatherine Ashton

Employment.png Secretary of State for International Development Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
12 May 2003 - 6 October 2003
Succeeded byHilary Benn

Employment.png Member of the House of Lords Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
24 September 1997 - 26 May 2010

Baroness Valerie Amos was the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator from July 2010 to 2015. She was succeeded by former Conservative Party MP Stephen O'Brien.[1]

She is a Labour life peer and was the first black woman to enter Cabinet in 2003 and preside as Leader of the House of Lords.[2]

Early life

Amos was born in 1954 in British Guiana (now Guyana) in South America and, after moving with her family to Great Britain in 1963,[3] she attended Bexley Technical High School for Girls (now Townley Grammar School), Bexleyheath, where she was the first black deputy head girl. She completed a degree in Sociology at the University of Warwick (1973–76), and also later took courses in cultural studies at the University of Birmingham and the University of East Anglia.

Charity career

After working in Equal Opportunities, Training and Management Services in local government in the London boroughs of Lambeth, Camden and Hackney, Amos became Chief Executive of the Equal Opportunities Commission in 1989, leaving the position in 1994.

In 1995, Amos co-founded the consultancy firm Amos Fraser Bernard and was an adviser to the South African government on public service reform, human rights and employment equity.

Amos has also been Deputy Chair of the Runnymede Trust (1990–98), a Trustee of the Institute for Public Policy Research, a non-executive Director of the University College London Hospitals Trust, a Trustee of Voluntary Service Overseas, Chair of the Afiya Trust, Member of the board of the Sierra Leone Titanium Resources Group, a director of Hampstead Theatre and chair of the Board of Governors of the Royal College of Nursing Institute.

Political Career

From 1998 to 2001 Baroness Amos was appointed a Government Whip in the House of Lords. She was also the International Development Spokesperson from 1998 to 2007 and the Minister of State for Africa from 2001 to 2003. In 2003 she was appointed Secretary of State for International Development. Between 2003-2007 Baroness Amos became leader of the House of Lords and Lord President to the Privy Council.[4]

Revolving door

Amos became a non-executive director of Nigerian private equity firm Travant Capital shortly after she resigned from the Cabinet in 2007. ACOBA approved this role subject to:

'12 months after leaving office, she should not be personally involved in lobbying the Government on behalf of her new employer or its clients and she should make clear in any commercial dealings that she was acting on behalf of the company and not the UK Government'.[5]

Questions were raised over the potential conflict of interest of her appointment shortly after Travant had received £15 million from the government-run company CDC, which is owned by the department she used to run, the Department for International Development (Dfid). CDC uses private equity funds to plough public money into poorer countries, mainly in Africa and Asia. More than a third of Travant's first equity fund came from the DfID through CDC when it was first launched in 2007.

In the House of Lords Register of Members Interests Amos lists this directorship as remunerated.

The Daily Mail reported that a spokesman for CDC insisted that the decision to invest in Travant was taken on a 'commercial basis'. He added that the company was not informed of Baroness's directorship before deciding to invest.[6][7]



References

  1. BBC News Conservative MP Stephen O'Brien gets top UN role, 9 March 2015, accessed 21 May 2015.
  2. Fawcett Society, Baroness Valerie Amos, accessed 24 November 2008.
  3. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/house-of-lords-labour-tony-blair-buckingham-palace-british-b1985137.html?r=70381
  4. Fawcett Society, Baroness Valerie Amos, accessed 24 November 2008.
  5. The Advisory Committee on Business Appointments Ninth Report 2006-2008 Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, accessed 5 November 2014
  6. Kirsty Walker Ex-minister Baroness Amos lands job with firm given £15m government handout, Daily Mail, 13 January 2009, acc 16 February 2012
  7. Travant Capital, The Board, accessed 24 November 2008.
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