Following many years working on education and human rights issues within the public, private and NGO sectors, Baroness Ashton was appointed to the House of Lords in 1999. Her Ministerial career included serving in the Education and Justice departments. She was Leader of the House of Lords and Lord President of the Queen's Privy Council from 2007-8, taking the Lisbon Treaty through the House of Lords.
In 2008 she was appointed as European Union Trade Commissioner and the following year became the UN's first High Representative for Foreign Policy and Security Policy and First Vice President of the European Commission, tackling some of the world's most difficult issues during her five years in office. Global acclaim followed with several honours including being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Other awards and accolades include Stonewall Politician of the Year for services in support of the LGBT community, Channel 4 Peer of the Year and House Magazine Minister of the Year. She received the award of GCMG (the highest foreign policy honour) at an investiture by Her Majesty the Queen in June 2015.
Baroness Ashton also holds honorary positions with several esteemed international bodies. She is the first female chancellor of the University of Warwick, a Distinguished Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars in Washington DC, and a consultant to the Geneva-based Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue. She published And Then What? in 2023 with Elliott & Thompson.