Samantha Power, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations for President Obama, Pulitzer Prize-winning author, war correspondent, and the Anna Lindh Professor of Practice at Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Law School, spent half of her career explaining complex geopolitical events and eight years at the UN helping to shape them.
As the 28th U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Power became the public face of U.S. opposition to Russian aggression in Ukraine and Syria, negotiated the toughest sanctions in a generation against North Korea, lobbied to secure the release of political prisoners, and helped mobilize global action against ISIL. From 2009 to 2013, she served on the National Security Council as special assistant to the President and senior director for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights.
Called “a powerful crusader for U.S foreign policy as well as human rights and democracy” by Forbes, Power was named one of Foreign Policy’s “Top 100 Global Thinkers.” The American Academy in Berlin awarded her the 2016 Henry A. Kissinger Prize. “She has an excellent and analytical mind,” said Kissinger, “I admire the way she has faced our challenges.”
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.
Before joining the U.S. government, Power was the founding executive director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, a columnist for Time, and a National Magazine Award-winning contributor to the Atlantic, the New Yorker, and the New York Review of Books.
At the age of nine, she immigrated to the United States from Ireland. Power earned a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Beginning her career as a journalist, Power reported from places such as Bosnia, East Timor, Kosovo, Rwanda, Sudan, and Zimbabwe.
Ambassador Power’s Athenaeum presentation is jointly sponsored by the Athenaeum, the Lecture in Diplomacy and International Security in Honor of George F. Kennan, Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies, Mgrublian Center for Human Rights, and the President’s Leadership Fund, all at CMC.