Melanne Verveer, US Ambassador-at-large for Global Women’s Issues, today received the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws (LLD) from the University of Ulster in recognition of her services to women and to international peace-building.
One of former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s closest associates, she has been an international advocate for women’s issues for more than 20 years.
Ambassador Verveer was appointed by President Obama to lobby for women’s political, economic and social advancement throughout the world. She is a former Chief of Staff to Mrs Clinton, and is co-founder and chairman of the board of the Vital Voices Global Partnership, an international non-governmental organisation that supports global women's leadership.
She is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations, the Women’s Foreign Policy Group, and numerous other organisations, and formerly served as Executive Vice-President of People for the American Way, a civil rights and constitutional liberties organisation where she played a key role in the passage of several landmark civil rights bills.
A native of Pottsville Pennsylvania, she attended Georgetown University, where she read for degrees in languages and Russian studies.
Ambassador Verveer has followed the Northern Ireland peace process since the mid 1990s and has been especially supportive of the role of women in the lead up to, and following, the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement.