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Valerie Amos appointed new Master

Univ Valerie AmosCurrent Director of SOAS University of London, former politician and former senior United Nations official The Right Honourable The Baroness Amos CH PC has been appointed as the new Master of University College Oxford. She will take up the post on 1 August 2020, following Sir Ivor Crewe’s retirement after twelve years in the role. Baroness Amos will be the first woman Master of University College Oxford and the first black head of an Oxford college.

Upon taking up the Mastership, Baroness Amos will step down from her current position at SOAS – a role that she took up in 2015. Prior to that she served as Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator at the UN from 2010-2015, and held senior roles in government and the public sector. She has been a Labour Life Peer since 1997, and served in the Cabinet from 2003 to 2007 as Secretary of State for International Development and subsequently as Leader of the House of Lords and Lord President of the Council. Before joining the House of Lords she worked in local government and as Chief Executive of the Equal Opportunities Commission, and was an adviser to the Mandela Government on leadership and change management issues. She was UK High Commissioner to Australia before joining the UN in 2010.

Baroness Amos was made a Companion of Honour in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2016 for her services to the United Nations and emergency relief in conflict areas.

Baroness Amos said: “I am honoured to have been appointed as Master of University College Oxford. I look forward to taking up my role next year and joining a community which prides itself on providing an outstanding scholarly environment, excellent teaching and world-class research. Univ has been engaged in opening up access and opportunity through its Opportunity Programme and I also look forward to making a contribution to that work.”

Professor Peter Jezzard, Vice-Master of University College, said “The College was fortunate in attracting a number of outstanding applicants to become its next Master to follow Sir Ivor Crewe in his distinguished tenure in the role. The Governing Body is excited that Baroness Amos agreed to accept our invitation to take on the role from next summer, and we very much look forward to welcoming her to the College and to working with her in the future. She brings a wealth and diversity of experience to the role, including a deep knowledge of the higher education sector, and will help us continue Univ’s outstanding reputation for excellence, access and innovation in Oxford.”

Published: 3 August 2019

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