Former U.S. Secretary of State and first lady Hillary Clinton has been named chancellor of Queen’s University in Belfast, school officials announced Thursday.
The appointment makes Clinton the first woman named to the mostly ceremonial role in the school's roughly 170-year history. In a statement, she called the title "a great privilege."
"The University is making waves internationally for its research and impact and I am proud to be an ambassador and help grow its reputation for excellence," she said.
It’s my great privilege to become @QUBelfast's 11th—and first female—chancellor. It's a place I have great fondness for and have grown a strong relationship with over the years, and I’m proud to be an ambassador for its excellence. https://t.co/ysrSeA0JOu— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) January 2, 2020
Clinton will serve as chancellor for a five-year period beginning Jan. 1, according to school officials. Among her duties, Clinton will preside at degree congregations, serve as an ambassador for the school and act as a sounding board for the university's vice-chancellor and senior management.
In 2018, Queen's University officials awarded Clinton with an honorary degree of doctor of laws for her "exceptional public service in the U.S. and globally," and "outstanding contribution to peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland."
"Secretary Clinton has made a considerable contribution to Northern Ireland and as an internationally recognized leader will be an incredible advocate for Queen’s and an inspirational role model for the Queen's community,” Stephen Prenter, pro-chancellor and chair of the university's governing body, said Thursday in a news release.
Clinton was serving as first lady when she first visited Northern Ireland in 1995 with her husband, then-President Bill Clinton. In 2018, she called Belfast "a special place for me and my family."
Bill Clinton was the first American president to visit Northern Ireland while in office, according to BBC News. During the 1995 trip, the Clintons visited local representatives and turned on the Christmas lights outside Belfast City Hall, the news network reported.
Since then, Hillary Clinton has visited Northern Ireland several times, including a 1999 visit in which she acted as keynote speaker to a 1999 women's conference, the Independent reported.
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