Baroness D’Souza was elected by Lords members as the second Lord Speaker on 18 July 2011 and took office on 1 September 2011, serving until the conclusion of her term in August 2016. She was appointed Chairman of the Trustees of the David Nott Foundation in September 2016.
She succeeded Baroness Hayman, the first elected Lord Speaker. She took her place on the Woolsack to oversee work in the Lords chamber on 5 September 2011. She entered the House of Lords in 2004. Before taking up the post of Lord Speaker, Baroness D’Souza was Convenor of the Crossbench Peers (2007-11).
As Convenor, Baroness D’Souza was a member of the following committees: Administration and Works Committee, Liaison Committee, Privileges and Conduct Committee, Selection Committee, Procedure Committee and House Committee.
She was also previously a member of European Union Sub-Committee F.
Baroness D’Souza has a special interest in human rights and development issues. She was a director and consultant for the REDRESS Trust (director 2003-04, consultant 2004-06), executive director of Article 19 (1989-98) and trustee at a range of human rights and development organisations.
In her previous career, Baroness D’Souza lived and worked in southern Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania. Baroness D’Souza was director of an independent research group focusing on development and emergency aid and has researched the economic origins and alleviation of famine.
She was an independent research consultant for the UN from 1985 to 1988. She also worked for the Nuffield Institute of Comparative Medicine (1973-77) and Oxford Brookes University (1977-80). Baroness D’Souza studied Anthropology at University College London. After graduating in 1970, she studied for her Doctor of Philosophy at Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford. She taught anthropology at both the London School of Economics (1973-80) and Oxford Brookes University (1977-80)