Valerie Amos ‘Surprised’ to be the First Black Woman to Lead a UK University

Baroness Valerie Amos, PC was 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.

Baroness Valerie Amos said she was “surprised” to discover she was the first ever black woman to head a university in the UK after her appointment last year.

Her comments have come on the day AOL launches MAKERS UK, a platform that celebrates groundbreaking women by hosting the largest ever collection of stories to inspire “the leaders of tomorrow,” with the Baroness featuring in a video of her own.


Speaking about starting her role at SOAS, University of London in September, however, she told the Independent: “The numberof black professors is incredibly low. It’s a cause for huge concern and must be a priority area for action.

“I wanted to come to SOAS because it’s a special place. It’s a school I have long-admired for the quality of its scholarship, the high level of critical engagement and enquiry, and its impact on the way we think about our world.

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Written by PH

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