The Rt Hon Baroness Frances D'Souza, CMG graduated in anthropology from UCL and obtained a DPhil in biological anthropology from the University of Oxford. From 1973 to 1977 she was a Ford Foundation Fellow at the Wellcome Institute of Reproductive Physiology. She lectured at the London School of Economics, Morley College and the City Lit Institute. From 1977 to 1983 she was a senior lecturer at Oxford Brookes University. Baroness D'Souza founded and directed the International Disaster Institute, based in London, and from 1978-1984 she was Editor of 'Disasters', the senior journal in the field of disaster risk reduction.
She has worked as an independent consultant for UNDP, UNICEF, the Ford Foundation, Operation Hunger (South Africa), FAO, Save the Children and the UK Overseas Development Administration. From 1989 to 1998 she directed the free speech organisation Article 19, and she went on to direct Redress, the anti-torture organisation. Appointed a Life Peer in 2004, she was Convenor of the Cross Benches for the period 2007-2011 and Lord Speaker from 2011 to 2016. Baroness D'Souza has written scientific, human rights and international development papers, articles and reports in the academic field and journalism. In 2016 she was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Hull.