Global On the Hill

Biden Nominates Ambassador Samantha Power as USAID Administrator

Early this morning, President-elect Biden announced Ambassador Samantha Power as his nominee for the United States Agency for International Development Administrator, while simultaneously elevating the position to become a member of the National Security Council.

Ambassador Power served in the Obama-Biden Administration Cabinet from 2013-2017 as the 28th US Permanent Representative to the United Nations. Her new position will involve working with US partners to lift up marginalized communities, especially in the face of COVID-19.

President-elect Joe Biden said, “Samantha Power is a world-renowned voice of conscience and moral clarity — challenging and rallying the international community to stand up for the dignity and humanity of all people. I know firsthand the unparalleled knowledge and tireless commitment to principled American engagement she brings to the table, and her expertise and perspective will be essential as our country reasserts its role as a leader on the world stage. As USAID Administrator, Ambassador Power will be a powerful force for lifting up the vulnerable, ushering in a new era of human progress and development, and advancing American interests globally.”

Prior to her career in international development, Power was a journalist who reported from many countries on multiple continents– Bosnia, East Timor, Kosovo, Rwanda, Sudan, and Zimbabwe. She served as the founding executive director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, and is currently a professor at Harvard. 

If confirmed by the Senate, Power’s responsibilities will include strengthening an agency that President Trump has weakened over the last four years by slashing the budget and nominating political appointees with little career experience in international development. 

Sources: Biden-Harris Transition Press Release 1/13/21; NBC News 1/13/21; NPR 1/13/21

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