Former UN Ambassador Samantha Power Named USAID Administrator

Wednesday, President-elect Joe Biden announced the United States’ former Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power as his nominee for Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). He also elevated the position to become a member of the National Security Council.

Announcing her nomination, Biden said Power has been a leader in marshaling the world to resolve long-running conflicts, respond to humanitarian emergencies, defend human dignity, and strengthen the rule of law and democracy.

Ambassador Samantha Power served in the Obama Administration Cabinet from 2013 to 2017 as the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations. During her time at the UN, Power rallied countries to combat the Ebola epidemic, ratify the Paris climate agreement, and develop new international law to cripple Islamic State’s financial networks.

She worked to negotiate and implement the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals, and helped catalyze international commitments to care for refugees. She advocated to secure the release of political prisoners, defend civil society from growing repression, and protect the rights of women and girls.

Prior to this role, from 2009 to 2013, Power had served on the National Security Council as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights. She was a key part of the Obama government’s national security team.

An immigrant from Ireland, the 50-year-old Pulitzer Prize-winning author began her career as a war correspondent in Bosnia. Before serving the government, she was the founding executive director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. Currently, she is a Professor of the Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School.

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