The Rt Hon Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean is a Labour Privy Councillor member of the House of Lords, a former government minister in the Foreign Office, the Ministry of Defence and for United Kingdom Trade and Investment.

Formerly Deputy Leader of the House of Lords, Baroness Symons was a minister from 1997 until stepping down at the 2005 General Election to take up wider international and business interests.

As a Minister, Baroness Symons developed interests in trade and investment at the time of the Doha Development fund, interest which she has maintained and developed to the present particularly in the Arab Middle East and Africa especially North Africa.

Baroness Symons chairs a number of organisations including the Arab British Chamber of Commerce, The Saudi British Business Council and the British Egyptian Society. She takes a keen interest in development issues and has worked closely with the Department for International Development on matters of concern about both women and children. In 2013 Baroness Symons raised the funding for the G8 Women's Conference, chairing the organising committee and the Conference itself in Lancaster House. She also organised the awards for Arab Women of Achievement that year. This work is now being developed further particularly by the OECD.

Baroness Symons maintains a wide range of international business contacts as well as an active interest in UK government affairs both through Parliament and personally. She continues to work with a number of NGOs with interests in the Middle East and North Africa and with the exception of Yemen has visited all the countries in the region several times and continues to do so on a regular basis.

She is extremely interested in the work currently being undertaken in the Foreign Office on Stability and Conflict Prevention. As a minister Baroness Symons was Prime Minister Tony Blair's envoy to the Gulf and to Syria. She has visited Iraq, Libya and other countries in conflict on a number of occasions and, as the Prime Minister's personal envoy, was a key interlocutor personally with Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and with the President of Syria at that time.

Baroness Symons maintains excellent relationships across all political parties in the House of Lords and with former colleagues in the Foreign Office and the Ministry of Defence, as well as among colleagues overseas and among the business and NGO communities in the UK.