9 July 2010

Secretary-General Appoints Valerie Amos of United Kingdom Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs

9 July 2010
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Biographical Note

Secretary-General Appoints Valerie Amos of United Kingdom


Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs


United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has announced the appointment of Valerie Amos, a national of the United Kingdom, as Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator.

She succeeds John Holmes, to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for his dedicated service to the Organization and commitment to alleviating the conditions of the many peoples affected by emergency situations.

Ms. Amos brings extensive background and experience to the position, coupled with well-honed leadership skills and an ability to forge consensus, coordinate the delivery of results and work with diverse stakeholders.  She is currently the United Kingdom’s High Commissioner to Australia.

She has more than 25 years of experience and spent the last decade in various high-level positions, including as Cabinet Minister with responsibility for international development, which encompassed arrangements for the Department for International Development budget and responsibility for its response to crises around the world.

From 2007 to 2009, Ms. Amos was Chair of the Royal African Society and a Fulbright Commissioner.  Between 2003 and 2007, she served as Cabinet Minister, Leader of the House of Lords and Secretary of State for International Development.  In the latter role, she was called upon to participate in discussions and negotiations to tackle conflicts and post-conflict situations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, Liberia and other parts of the world.  From 2001 to 2003, she served as Africa Minister.

Ms. Amos is expected to bring strategic direction to her efforts as Emergency Relief Coordinator, framed by her ability to be a strong communicator and advocate for the needs of stakeholders, and to ensure commitment to the mandate of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Born in 1954, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and a Master of Arts in cultural studies.

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.