Known as the most powerful woman in the United States, Nancy Pelosi is the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the first woman to ever clinch the position in the country’s history. She had previously served in several leadership capacities for the government, including her eight-year stint as the House Minority Leader between 2011 and 2019; Leader of the House Democratic Caucus in 2003; and House Minority Whip between 2002 and 2003.
Pelosi’s interest in politics first revealed itself, when in 1969 she started the Democratic Party Club in her home as a full-time housewife. She went further to become the Chair of the California Democratic Party and rose fast to join the league of White House leaders. Her devotion to family, however, refrained her from venturing into elective offices until her youngest child was rounding off high school. Then, she contested and won as a member of the House of Representative, first for District 5 of California between 1987 and 1993, second for District 8 of the same constituency from 1993 to 2013, and third for district twelve of California from 2013 to present. Following her effective performance in the House, her colleagues elected her as House Democratic Whip in 2001 and House Democratic Leader in 2002, making her the first woman to hold both positions.
In her position as the House Speaker from 2007 to 2011, she fought to promote the politics of inclusion in US, superintending processes that ushered in the passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the law that entrench the freedom of women and all workers to fight against pay discrimination; spearheading the signing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, an act that reduced the cost in health care delivery; leading the Congress to pass the strong Wall Street reforms. During her tenure as the Speaker, the 111th Congress was dubbed ‘one of the most productive Congress in history’, leading the enactment of several laws that promoted the economic development of the state, in the form of investment, empowerment of small and medium enterprises, and innovations.
Pelosi has been described by the U.S. News as ‘a formidable force within the Democratic Party’, as she has raised more money for the party as a party leader than any other Congressional Democrat–about $100 million.
An Alumnus of Trinity College, Washington where she studied Political Science, Pelosi holds an honorary Doctorate of Law degree from Mount Holyoke College in 2018. She has a number of awards to her profile including the Foremother Award she received from the National Center for Health Research in 2016, and the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 2013. In 2010, she made it to Forbes list as the 11th most powerful woman in the world.
Singled out for her daring leadership traits, her boldness and ability to speak for the voiceless, Nancy Pelosi is our Woman of the Week.
Walt Hickey (2019). The Stunning Life and Career of Nancy Pelosi. Business Insider. https://www.pulse.ng/bi/politics/the-stunning-life-and-career-of-nancy-pelosi/lsqg07g Accessed 02 September 2019.
National Women Hall of Fame. Nancy Pelosi. https://www.womenofthehall.org/inductee/nancy-pelosi/ Accessed 02 September 2019.
Stolberg, Sheryl Gay (2019). Nancy Pelosi, Icon of Female Power, Will Reclaim Role as Speaker and Seal a Place in History”. The New York Times. Accessed 02 September, 2019.
Nancy Pelosi Fast Facts”. CNN. March 21, 2019. Accessed 02 September 2019.
U.S. News (2006). “10 facts about Nancy Pelosi” Accessed 02 September 2019. https://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2006/11/07/10-things-you-didnt-know-about-nancy-pelosi