Samantha Power

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Samantha Power

Born September 21, 1970 (1970-09-21) (age 38)
Residence United States
Nationality American
Fields Public policy, human rights
Institutions Kennedy School of Government, Harvard
2008 Obama presidential campaign
Alma mater Harvard Law School (J.D.)
Yale University (B.A.)
Known for Work on genocide and human rights
Notable awards Pulitzer Prize for A Problem from Hell: America in the Age of Genocide

Samantha Power (born September 21, 1970, in Ireland) is an Irish American journalist, writer, academic, and government official. She is currently affiliated with the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. Power has been a winner of the Pulitzer Prize and was a senior adviser to U.S. Democratic Party presidential candidate Barack Obama until March 2008 when she resigned from the campaign under controversy. After rejoining the Obama State Department transition team in late November 2008, she has been named to a position on the National Security Council.


[edit] Biography

Power was born and raised in Ireland before emigrating to the United States in 1979. She attended Lakeside High School in Atlanta, Georgia, where she was a member of the cross country team and the basketball team. She later graduated from Yale University.

From 1993 to 1996, she worked as a journalist, covering the Yugoslav wars for U.S. News & World Report, The Boston Globe, The Economist, and The New Republic.

When she returned to the United States, she attended Harvard Law School, graduating in 1999. Her first book, A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, grew out of a paper she wrote in law school. The book won the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 2003. It offers a survey of the origin of the word genocide, the major genocides of the 20th century, as well as an analysis of some of the underlying reasons for the persistent failure of governments and the international community to collectively identify, recognize and then respond effectively to genocides ranging from the Armenian Genocide to the Rwandan Genocide. This work and related writings have been criticized by the historian Howard Zinn for downplaying the importance of "unintended" and "collateral" civilian deaths that could be classified as genocidal[1]; and by Edward S. Herman for systematically ignoring genocidal projects sponsored by the United States in Guatemala, in East Timor, and Southeast Asia. [2]

A scholar of foreign policy especially as it relates to human rights, genocide, and AIDS, she is currently the Anna Lindh Professor of Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

In 2004, Power was named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 top scientists and thinkers of that year.[3] In fall 2007, she began writing a regular column for Time. Power appears in Charles Ferguson's 2007 documentary, No End in Sight, which alleges numerous missteps by the Bush administration in the U.S. war in Iraq.

The character of Nadia Blye in The Vertical Hour, a play by David Hare, shares key surface similarities with Ms. Power.

Power spent 2005–06 working in the office of U.S. Senator Barack Obama as a foreign policy fellow, where she was credited with sparking and directing Obama's interest in the Darfur conflict[4]. She served as a senior foreign policy adviser to Obama's 2008 presidential campaign until she was forced to resign for referring to Hillary Clinton as "a monster". Power apologized for the remarks made in an interview with The Scotsman in London, and resigned from the campaign shortly thereafter.

Her second book, Chasing the Flame: Sergio Vieira de Mello and the Fight to Save the World was released on February 14, 2008. It concerns Sergio Vieira de Mello, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and United Nations Special Representative in Iraq who was killed in the Canal Hotel bombing in Baghdad along with Jean-Sélim Kanaan, Nadia Younes, Fiona Watson, and other members of his staff, on the afternoon of August 19, 2003.

[edit] Personal life

In January 2008, Power began dating the prominent law professor Cass Sunstein whom she met while working on the Obama campaign.[5] On July 4, 2008, they married. [6]

[edit] Views

Alongside her advocacy for Barack Obama's candidacy, Power is best known for her efforts to increase awareness with regard to genocide and human rights abuses, particularly the Darfur conflict. In 2006, she contributed to Screamers, a movie about the Darfur, Armenian, and other genocides of the 20th and 21st centuries. Power has become a leading voice calling for armed intervention into humanitarian crisis situations.[7][8]

Power has been accused by a number of conservative publications, such as FrontPage Magazine, of being hostile towards the state of Israel.[9] In an interview with Haaretz, Power explained her views and past statements on Israel and insisted that she takes threats to Israel's security (such as the potential nuclearization of Iran) very seriously.[10]

[edit] 2008 Obama Democratic Party presidential campaign

Power was an early and outspoken supporter of Barack Obama. When she joined the Obama campaign as a foreign policy advisor, Men's Vogue described her as a "Harvard brainiac who can boast both a Pulitzer Prize and a mean jump shot (ask George Clooney). Now the consummate outsider is working on her inside game: D.C. politics." [11]

In August 2007 Power authored a memo titled "Conventional Washington versus the Change We Need," in which she provided one of the first comprehensive statements of Obama's approach to foreign policy. In the memo she writes: "Barack Obama's judgment is right; the conventional wisdom is wrong. We need a new era of tough, principled and engaged American diplomacy to deal with 21st century challenges."[12]

In February and March 2008, Power began an international book tour to promote her book, Chasing the Flame. Because of her involvement in the Obama campaign, many of the interviews she gave revolved around her and Barack Obama's foreign-policy views, as well as the 2008 campaign.

On February 21, Power appeared on Charlie Rose and compared Barack Obama to Sergio Vieira de Mello, the subject of Chasing the Flame. "This would be Sergio's lesson: if you are not thinking in terms of both dignity and freedom from fear, and this is the other thing Obama has come back to, the old Rooseveltian idea. Obama has tried to run a campaign that moves us out of the politics of fear. He is also very sensitive to the degree to which, and Sergio uses this line, 'fear is a bad adviser.' This is a line that could have come out of Obama's mouth, though happened to come out of Sergio's mouth. We make bad judgments when we are afraid."[13]

Power appeared on BBC's HARDtalk on March 6, stating that Barack Obama's pledge to "have all U.S. combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months"[14] was a "best case scenario" that "he will revisit when he becomes president."[15] Challenged by the host as to whether this contradicted Obama's campaign commitment, she responded, "You can’t make a commitment in March 2008 about what circumstances will be like in January of 2009.... He will, of course, not rely on some plan that he’s crafted as a presidential candidate or a U.S. Senator. He will rely upon a plan — an operational plan — that he pulls together in consultation with people who are on the ground to whom he doesn’t have daily access now, as a result of not being the president." [16] She concluded by saying that "what we can take seriously is that he will try to get U.S. forces out of Iraq as quickly and responsibly as possible."[15]

In a March 6 interview with The Scotsman, she said: "We fucked up in Ohio. In Ohio, they are obsessed and Hillary is going to town on it, because she knows Ohio's the only place they can win".[17] [18] "She is a monster, too — that is off the record — she is stooping to anything... You just look at her and think, 'Ergh.' But if you are poor and she is telling you some story about how Obama is going to take your job away, maybe it will be more effective. The amount of deceit she has put forward is really unattractive."

Power apologized for the remark on the night of the March 6 interview, saying that they "do not reflect my feelings about Sen. Clinton, whose leadership and public service I have long admired." The next day, in the wake of reaction to the remarks, she resigned from the Obama campaign. [19] Soon afterwards, the Weekly Standard said that it "might have been the most ill-starred book tour since the invention of movable type."[20]

Following her resignation, she also appeared on The Colbert Report on March 17, 2008, saying, "can I just clarify and say, I don't think Hillary Clinton is a monster...we have three amazing candidates left in the race." When Power later joined the State Department transition team, an official close to the transition said Power had apologized and that her "gesture to bury the hatchet" with Clinton had been well-received.[21] Power attended Clinton's swearing-in ceremony on February 2.

[edit] Obama administration

After the 2008 presidential election, Power returned to Obama's team, becoming a member of the transition team, working for the Department of State. [22]

In January 2009 President Obama appointed Power to the National Security Council, where she will serve as director for multilateral affairs.[23]

[edit] Bibliography

[edit] Books

[edit] Articles

[edit] References

  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ TIME Magazine: TIME 100: Samantha Power
  4. ^ "The Radical Roots of Barack Obama", Rolling Stone
  5. ^ Cara Buckley (2008-03-16). "A Monster of a Slip". The New York Times. Retrieved on 2008-03-16. 
  6. ^ Anne Lucey (2008-07-04). "From campaigns to champagne as friends of Obama tie the knot". Retrieved on 2008-07-07. 
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ Saved from Durban II, Joseph Klein, Frontpage Magazine, March 02, 2009.
  10. ^ Obama`s top adviser says does not believe in imposing a peace settlement by Shmuel Rosner, Haaretz, August 27, 2008.
  11. ^ Samantha Power, the outsider with a jump shot, is working on her inside game: D.C. politics: Crime + Politics:
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ Issues: Iraq - Obama'08 (campaign web site)
  15. ^ a b HARDtalk: Samantha Power - BBC News: Programmes 2008-03-06
  16. ^ Power on Obama's Iraq plan: "best case scenario" - Politico: Ben Smith (weblog) 2008-03-07
  17. ^ "Hillary Clinton's a monster': Obama aide blurts out attack in Scotsman interview" - The Scotsman 2008-03-06
  18. ^ Political Punch
  19. ^ 'Obama aide forced out for calling Clinton "a monster"'
  20. ^ "Power Outage", Weekly Standard, March 17, 2008
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^

[edit] External links

[edit] Profiles and Bios

[edit] Speeches and Interviews

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[edit] Educational Resources and Video

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