I grew up in North Somerset and was educated at my local school, Nailsea Comprehensive. In 1982 I went to Brasenose College, Oxford and left with a degree in Geography in 1985. I was the first person in my family to stay on at school beyond the age of 16 and as a result I am passionately committed to ensuring all children receive the best possible education that can be provided. At Oxford I was also awarded two rowing Blues.
After University I worked for Bank of America for three years and then went to Harvard Business School where I received a Masters in Business Administration in 1990. I then had a business career in the United States and Britain working for McKinsey and Company and Credit Suisse and I also started my own small company offering financial advice for women. I moved with my family to Wiltshire in 2000 when I stopped paid work to bring up our (then) small children but remained actively involved in fundraising for local schools, theatres and hospitals. In 2007 I began working for George Osborne until May 2010 when I was elected as the Member of Parliament for the Devizes Constituency with a majority of more than 13,000 and more than 55 per cent of the vote.
As your MP, I have been a member of the Justice Select Committee, represented Britain at the Council of Europe and been the Parliamentary Aide to the Secretary of State for Defence. I also led a Parliamentary Inquiry conducting a review of Online Child Protection, and in December 2012 I was made Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on Preventing the Commercialisation and Sexualisation of Childhood. In July 2014 I was appointed by the Prime Minister to become Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Department for Transport with responsibility for the Railways, road freight and Agencies.
I live with my three children (and our dog Zinzan) in the beautiful heart of the Pewsey Vale and in my free time, I enjoy reading, walking and cycling with my family. My partner is Professor William O'Neill of Cambridge University.