Hillary Clinton, the former US Secretary of State and presidential candidate, has been appointed as Queen’s University Belfast’s first female chancellor.
As the university’s 11th chancellor, she will preside over degree ceremonies, serve as the university’s ambassador and advise senior management for five years.
“It is a great privilege to become the Chancellor of Queen’s University, a place I have great fondness for and have grown a strong relationship with over the years,” Mrs Clinton said.
“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.”
Mr Stephen Prenter, the head of the university’s governing body, said: “I am delighted that Queen’s has chosen Hillary Clinton to be its new chancellor.
“Secretary Clinton has made a considerable contribution to Northern Ireland and as an internationally recognised leader will be an incredible advocate for Queen’s and an inspirational role model for the Queen’s community.”
Mrs Clinton first visited Northern Ireland in November 1995. She accompanied her husband and then-US president Bill Clinton to Belfast, who spoke in favour of the peace process to a huge crowd in Belfast City Hall. Mr Clinton, who was the first American president to visit Northern Ireland, called paramilitary group the IRA “yesterday’s men”.
The then-first lady visited Belfast in 1999, to reiterate her government’s support for the peace process. During the trip, she met with first minister David Trimble and deputy first minister Seamus Mallon.
In 2008, when she was running against Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination, Mrs Clinton told CNN that she "helped bring peace to Northern Ireland".
She was later accused of exaggerating by officials including Mr Trimble.