Samantha Power Nominated to head USAID by Biden

Samantha Power
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Samantha Power. Photo: Eric Bridiers/United States Mission Geneva 

Samantha Power has been nominated by incoming President Joe Biden for the post of Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Biden-Harris transition team has announced.

“Power is a crisis-tested public servant and diplomat and 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,” the transition team said, in a statement.

“A leading voice for humane and principled American engagement in the world, Samantha Power will rally the international community as our next USAID Administrator. She will work with our partners to confront the biggest challenges of our time — including COVID-19, climate change, global poverty, and democratic backsliding.”

An immigrant from Ireland, Ambassador Power began her career as a war correspondent in Bosnia, and went on to report from places including Kosovo, Rwanda, Sudan, and Zimbabwe. Before her service in government, she was the founding executive director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School.

From 2009 to 2013, Ambassador Power served on the National Security Council staff as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights, advising the Obama-Biden national security team on issues such as democracy promotion, UN reform, LGBTQ+ and women's rights, atrocity prevention, and the fights against human trafficking and global corruption.

She then served in the Obama-Biden Administration Cabinet between 2013 to 2017 as the 28th U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations. During her time at the United Nations, Ambassador Power rallied countries to combat the Ebola epidemic, ratify the Paris climate agreement, and develop new international law to cripple ISIS’s financial networks. 

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


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