Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi
William O. Douglas Award
Nancy Pelosi served as the 52nd Speaker of the House of Representatives, having made history in 2007 when she was elected the first woman to serve as Speaker of the House. She made history again in January 2019 when she regained her position second-in-line to the presidency – the first person to do so in more than six decades.
Pelosi is the chief architect of generation-defining legislation under two Democratic administrations, including the Affordable Care Act and the American Rescue Plan. She led House Democrats for 20 years and previously served as House Democratic Whip. In 2013, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Seneca Falls, the birthplace of the American women’s rights movement.
Pelosi has represented San Francisco in Congress for 36 years. Currently serving as Speaker Emerita of the House and as the Representative for California’s 11th Congressional District, she is fighting For The People to lower costs, grow paychecks and create jobs.
Under the Biden Administration, Speaker Pelosi led the design and passage of the life-saving American Rescue Plan. This law turned the tide of the pandemic: vaccinating hundreds of millions of Americans, delivering direct assistance to families, creating millions of new jobs, supporting frontline workers and returning children safely to schools. Pelosi engineered passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to strengthen roads, bridges, ports, water systems and broadband access across the country. Under her leadership, the House paved the way for historic laws to lower health care costs and combat the climate crisis with the Inflation Reduction Act and reinvigorate American manufacturing and innovation with the CHIPS and Science Act.
During the Obama presidency, Speaker Pelosi orchestrated passage of the landmark Affordable Care Act: which has guaranteed protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions, forbid insurers from discriminating against women, ended annual and lifetime limits on coverage, and expanded affordable insurance to tens of millions more Americans. Pelosi also delivered the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to rescue the nation from the depths of the financial crisis; the Dodd-Frank reforms to rein in big banks and strengthen consumer protections; and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to restore the ability to fight pay discrimination in court.
A champion on climate, Pelosi has passed key investments in clean energy, conservation and community resilience. A defender of democracy, she has spearheaded House efforts to protect voting rights, to impeach President Trump for violating his oath of office, and to create the bipartisan Select Committee to Investigate January 6th. A force for full equality, she has led the fight to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” secure new protections against hate crimes and advance the watershed Equality Act. For decades, Pelosi has been a powerful voice for human rights in China and all around the world.
Additional key accomplishments signed into law during her four terms as Speaker include: landmark gun violence prevention measures; reform of the college financial aid system; expanding health care to eleven million American children; stronger ethics and transparency requirements in government; and more benefits for veterans and caregivers.
Pelosi comes from a strong family tradition of public service in Baltimore. Married to Paul Pelosi, she is a mother of five and grandmother of nine.