Ms. Amos served as the eighth UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator. Before her appointment to the UN, she served as British High Commissioner to Australia. She was created a life peer in 1997, serving as Leader of the House of Lords and Lord President of the Council from 2003 to 2007.
When Ms Amos was appointed Secretary of State for International Development on 12 May 2003, she became the first Black, Asian and minority ethnic woman to serve as a Cabinet minister. In September 2015 Ms Amos was appointed Director of SOAS, University of London, becoming the first black woman to lead a university school in the United Kingdom.
Since September 2020, Ms Amos has been Master of University College, Oxford, succeeding Sir Ivor Crewe and becoming the first-ever black head of an Oxford college.