The honour, which is the highest award a university can bestow, “recognises the remarkable contribution Speaker Emerita Pelosi has made to her country through the promotion of human rights and protection of people, and her unwavering support for peacemaking.”

Pelosi received the honour on the eve of St. Patrick’s Day at a ceremony in Washington D.C.

The degree was conferred upon her by the Chancellor of Ulster University, Dr Colin Davidson, at the ceremony in Washington DC, attended by political and civic representatives from Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and the United States.

A statement from the university said: “As a giant of global politics for 40 years, Speaker Emerita Pelosi has been a trailblazer for women in high office in the US and across the world.

“Following the Congressional midterm elections of 2006, she became the first woman to serve as Speaker of the House of Representatives in US History and has played a critical role in delivering major legislative achievements.

“These have included: leading the Dodd-Frank Act which regulated the financial markets after the crash of 2008; the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 refloating the US economy; the Affordable Care Act of 2010, which was the most significant expansion of medical insurance coverage for 40 years; and the American Rescue Plan of 2021, which propelled America out of the COVID pandemic.”

Chancellor of Ulster University Dr Colin Davidson said: "The Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Speaker Emerita of the US House of Representatives, has been recognised and honoured by Ulster University for the outstanding contribution she has made to her country as a steadfast ally in the promotion of human rights and a relentless advocate in the struggle to end discrimination.

Her work to honour the dignity and worth of every human being through the promotion of rights and the protection of people has been instrumental in developing inclusive and diverse schools and workplaces that strengthen communities and help people to flourish.".

Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi said:

"Ulster University is an esteemed academic institution, earning the respect of the world and producing many outstanding alumni.

“Ulster stands as a pillar of the peace of the Good Friday Agreement: moulding the minds of many young people who have never known the bloody conflict, who as young leaders are helping build a brighter future.

"It is my privilege to join in welcoming Ulster to our Nation’s capital and, with great pride and humility, accept an Honorary Doctorate. For a quarter-century, the Good Friday Agreement has enabled the transformation of Northern Ireland and served as a beacon of hope to all freedom-loving people.

“It has been my honour to work alongside Chairman Richard Neal to preserve the promise of the Agreement for Northern Ireland, for the Irish Republic and for the world – now and for decades to come."