Valerie Amos

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Valerie Amos

Baroness Valerie Amos (born 13 March 1954, Guyana) 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]

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.[3]

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'.[4]

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.[5][6] (Link broken)

Affiliations

  • Non-executive director,[7] Titanium Resources Group (http://titaniumresources.com/). Her role was approved by ACOBA, who saw "no reason why she should not take it up forthwith, but she should make clear in any commercial dealings that she was acting on behalf of the company and not the UK Government."[4] Has since resigned from this role.

Former affiliations

  • Non-executive director, England 2018 Ltd, a company established to deal with matters regarding to England's bid to hold the 2018 football World Cup, October 2008. Approved by ACOBA, who saw "no reason why she should not take it up forthwith"[8]

Resources


Notes and 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. Fawcett Society, Baroness Valerie Amos, accessed 24 November 2008.
  4. 4.0 4.1 The Advisory Committee on Business Appointments Ninth Report 2006-2008 Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, accessed 5 November 2014
  5. Kirsty Walker Ex-minister Baroness Amos lands job with firm given £15m government handout, Daily Mail, 13 January 2009, acc 16 February 2012
  6. Travant Capital, The Board, accessed 24 November 2008.
  7. Titanium Resources Group, Board Changes, 10 March 2008, accessed 24 November 2008.
  8. The Advisory Committee on Business Appointments Tenth Report 2008-2009 Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, accessed 7 November 2014