President Dr Irfaan Ali has extended congratulations to Baroness Valerie Amos on her appointment as a member of the Order of the Garter, England’s oldest and most senior order of chivalry. She has become the first Black person in 700 years to receive the honour.
President Ali says that the appointment is well deserved as it is a recognition of significant public service, given Baroness Amos’ distinguished public service career to the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.
“All Guyanese should be proud of this recognition”, the Head of State noted.
Baroness Amos, who hails from the island of Wakenaam, is a former Labour cabinet minister. She is the first black member of the Order.
Guyana-born Valerie Amos moved to Great Britain with her family in 1963 and built a career working for equal opportunities.
As a member of the House of Lords, she served as the government spokeswoman for social security, international development, women’s issues, and foreign and Commonwealth affairs.
Between 1989 and 1994 she was chief executive of the Equal Opportunities Commission.
She was a co-founder and director of Amos Fraser Bernard, advising the South African government on public service reform, human rights and employment equity.
Baroness Amos became Leader of the House of Lords and Lord President of the Council in late 2003.
Her role as International Development Secretary came after Clare Short quit the post in protest at the war in Iraq in 2003.
Baroness Amos also served as a Government Whip in the House of Lords between 1998 and 2001 and spokesperson on Social Security, International Development and Women’s Issues.