The First Black Woman to Lead a College at Oxford University in England

Baroness Valerie Amos has been appointed master of University College at Oxford University in England, When she takes office on August 1, she will be the first woman master of University College and the first Black person to lead any college at Oxford University.

Since 2015, Baroness Amos has served as director of the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies. From 2010 to 2015, Amos served as undersecretary general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator at the United Nations. Earlier in her career, Baroness Amos was the first Black woman to sit in the British cabinet as Secretary of State for International Development. She became Leader of the House of Lords and served as the United Kingdom’s High Commissioner to Australia.

Born in Guyana, Amos earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Warwick and a master’s degree in cultural studies from the University of Birmingham. She was given the title of Baroness Amos of Brondesbury in 1997.


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  1. El Darden says:

    Finally, the U. K. is beginning to arrive on the threshold of the 1970s. Another 30 or 40 years, and they’ll be fully in the 21st (but don’t count on it!).

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