Valerie Amos was born in Guyana and moved to Great Britain with her family in 1963. She took degrees at the Universities of Warwick and Birmingham before pursuing doctoral research at the University of East Anglia.
She then started her career working in equal opportunities, training and management services in the London local authorities of Lambeth, Camden and Hackney.
Baroness Amos was appointed Leader of the House of Lords and Lord President of the Council in October 2003, a post she held until recently. She has been the main speaker on international development issues for the government in the House of Lords.
Previously she held the position of Secretary of State for International Development becoming the first black female member of a British Cabinet.
Baroness Amos was Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs from June 2001 with responsibility for Africa, the Commonwealth, the Caribbean, Britain’s Overseas Territories, Consular Affairs and Personnel Issues.
She was created a Labour life peer in August 1997.
Professor Madeleine Atkins, Vice Chancellor at Coventry University, said:
“We are delighted that Baroness Amos has agreed to give our 3rd Cathedral lecture. Her experience in Government and work in International Development will make interesting material for her talk. Baroness Amos will notice a difference in the Coventry she knew as a student and I hope she will enjoy being back in the city and speaking at the Cathedral. “
The lecture “Faith and Politics in a Diverse Society” takes place on Thursday 18 October at 6pm and admission is free.