Valerie Ann Amos, Baroness Amos, PC (born 13 March 1954) is a British Labour Party politician and life peer, formerly serving as Leader of the House of Lords and Lord President of the Council. When she was appointed Secretary of State for International Development on 12 May 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. She was then nominated to become the European Union special representative to the African Union by Gordon Brown. However after an independent selection process, Belgian diplomat Koen Vervaeke was chosen to represent the EU in Addis Ababa.
Amos was born in Guyana, and attended Bexley Technical High School for Girls, Townley Road, Bexleyheath, where she was the first black deputy Head Girl. She then studied at the University of Warwick, the University of Birmingham and the University of East Anglia, and was awarded an Honorary Professorship at Thames Valley University in 1995 in recognition of her work on equality and social justice. She was also awarded honorary degrees of Doctor of Laws from the University of Warwick in 2000 and the University of Leicester in 2006. continue reading /source