Samantha Power

Government Official

Born: 21 September 1970
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Best known as:

The Irish-born Pulitzer Prize winner who became the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N.

Samantha Power became the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations in 2013. She is an unusual figure in American politics: an Irish-born woman who by age 43 had become a globetrotting journalist and human rights activist, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, a Harvard professor and a powerful member of the Barack Obama administration. Samantha Power was born in Dublin and lived in Ireland until age 9, when her parents split up and her mother emigrated to America. She graduated from Yale University and in the 1990s covered the war in Yugoslavia for U.S. News & World Report and other publications. Those years turned her into a human rights activist, and after graduating from Harvard Law School in 1999, she published A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, a look at American response (and non-response) to various genocides of the 20th Century. The book won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction and catapulted her to fame. Already having been the Founding Executive Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government (1998-2002), she now became Harvard's Anna Lindh Professor of Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy. She was an early advisor to Barack Obama, working in his Senate office as a foreign policy fellow (2005-06), and was a key foreign policy figure in his 2008 presidential campaign until she left the campaign after calling Obama rival Hillary Clinton "a monster" in an interview with The Scotsman newspaper. Still, she joined the Obama administration in 2009 as a Special Assistant to the President and a member of the National Security staff. After winning re-election in 2012, Obama appointed Power as the country's Ambassador to the United Nations. She took up her post on August 2, 2013. Her other books include Chasing the Flame: Sergio Vieira de Mello and the Fight to Save the World (2008), and as her White House biography notes, "in her journalism, has reported from such places as Bosnia, East Timor, Kosovo, Rwanda, Sudan, and Zimbabwe, and contributed regularly to the New Yorker Magazine, the New York Review of Books, and the New Republic."

Extra credit:

Samantha Power married Cass Sunstein in 2008; he is a Harvard Law School professor who also worked for the Barack Obama administration. Their son Declan was born in 2009, and a daughter, Rian, was born in 2012... Is Samantha Power a U.S. citizen? A 2013 story by Donal Lynch in the Irish Independent says yes, stating that after coming to the U.S. as a child, Power "later became an American citizen." But that is the only article Who2 has found mentioning the topic to date.

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