Hillary Clinton has become the 11th and first female chancellor of a university in Northern Ireland. Photo courtesy of Queen's University Belfast.
Jan. 2 (UPI) -- Queen's University Belfast in Northern Ireland announced Thursday that former U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has become its 11th and first female chancellor.
Clinton effectively took up the role on New Year's Day, the university's announcement said.
The five-year position includes a ceremonial role of presiding at degree congregations, an ambassadorial role for the university abroad and an advisory role to vice-chancellor Professor Ian Greer and senior management.
It is not a salaried position, Queen's University Belfast told FOX Business.
She succeeds Dr. Tom Moran, an Irish-American businessman who died last year at age 65.
The first female Democratic presidential nominee who lost the 2016 election to Donald Trump received an honorary doctorate from Queen's in October, but her ties to Northern Ireland stretch back over three decades.
Her husband, Bill Clinton, was the first serving U.S. president to visit Northern Ireland in November 1995, and as first lady, she first visited the area with him. During their visit, they met with community representatives and switched on the Christmas lights in the country's capital, Belfast. Since then, she has visited the country regularly.
"It is a great privilege to become the Chancellor of Queen's University, a place I have a great fondness for and have grown a strong relationship with over the years," Clinton said in a statement. "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."
Clinton is "an internationally recognized public servant with almost five decades in public service as an advocate, attorney, first lady, senator and secretary of state," the university's announcement said.
She was first appointed U.S. secretary of state by President Barack Obama in 2009, and served four years. In that position, "she focused on economic development to underpin the emergence of a strong and competitive Northern Ireland," the university's announcement said.
While she was first lady, she "made a considerable contribution to the Northern Ireland Peace Process," the announcement added.
"I am delighted that Queen's has chosen Hillary Clinton to be its new chancellor," said Stephen Prenter, chair of the Queen's University Belfast senate, the university's governing body.
"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."