Ambassador Samantha Power

Program Date March 24, 2018


Called by Forbes "a powerful crusader for U.S. foreign policy, as well as human rights and democracy," Ambassador Power is a leading voice internationally for principled American engagement in the world, global cooperation, and human rights. She has a unique perspective -- spending half of her career explaining complex geopolitical events as a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, war correspondent, and Harvard professor, and eight years helping to shape them, ultimately as the youngest-ever U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.


Ambassador Samantha Power has been called the "conscience" of U.S. foreign policy. In addition to serving as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations from 2013 to 2017, she was also a member of President Obama's Cabinet and a senior adviser at the White House.

At the U.N., Ambassador Power played a significant role in standing up to Russian aggression, securing the release of political prisoners, and helping mobilize global responses to the North Korean nuclear threat, the massive refugee crisis, and the rise of ISIL.

Ambassador Power has been named one of Foreign Policy's "Top 100 Global Thinkers" and TIME magazine's "100 Most Influential People."

Before joining the U.S. government, Ambassador Power was the Anna Lindh Professor of the Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School. She was also the founding executive director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy.

Her book, A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2003. The New Republic praised it as "Nothing less than a masterwork of contemporary journalism...An angry, brilliant, fiercely useful, absolutely essential book." She also wrote the New York Times bestseller Chasing the Flame: Sergio Vieira de Mello and the Fight to Save the World (2008), the basis for the award-winning HBO documentary Sergio, and was the co-editor of The Unquiet American: Richard Holbrooke in the World (2011).

Ambassador Power began her career as a journalist, reporting from places such as Bosnia, East Timor, Kosovo, Rwanda, Sudan, and Zimbabwe; she was a columnist for TIME and has contributed regularly to The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, and The Atlantic, which published her National Magazine Award-winning article, "Bystanders to Genocide."

At the age of nine, she immigrated to the United States from Ireland. After attending high school in Atlanta, Georgia, she received a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. She is married to Harvard Law Professor Cass Sunstein, with whom she has two young children, 7 and 4, making multi-tasking a central feature of her years at the U.N.


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