Janet Whitaker was raised to the peerage as Baroness Whitaker of Beeston in the County of Nottinghamshire in 1999. Since joining the Lords, she has been an International Development Liaison Peer from 1999 to 2007 and has chaired the Design in Public Procurement Inquiry (2009) and the Design Education Inquiry (2011). She lists her political interests as architecture and design, international development and race relations.
Prior to joining the Lords, she was a magistrate from 1985 to 2006. During this time, she was also a member of the Employment Tribunal (1995-2000) and Deputy Chair, followed by Chair of the Camden Racial Equality Council (1996-99). She was also non-executive director of Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust from 1997 to 2001. Aside from her work in Parliament, Whitaker is also a member of the advisory board at the British Institute of Human Rights, as well as Vice President of the British Humanist Association and of One World Trust. She was born in 1936.