- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Samantha Power Returns

| Summer 2017

Will Head New International Peace and Security Project

Samantha Power, United States Ambassador to the United Nations from 2013 until 2017, has been named to a joint faculty appointment at Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Law School. At the Kennedy School,  she will direct a new Belfer Center initiative—the International Peace and Security Project—and will be a senior member of the Center and member of the board. She will also be affiliated with the Kennedy School’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy.

Power first came to the Belfer Center in 1998 as Project Director of the Human Rights Initiative. That initiative grew quickly and became the Carr Center, where she was named the founding Executive Director.

On her return to the Kennedy School, Power will serve as the Anna Lindh Professor of the Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy. At Harvard Law School, where she earned her J.D. in 1999, she will be Professor of Practice.

Prior to becoming UN Ambassador, Power served for four years as President Obama’s Special Assistant for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights on the National Security Council. At the UN, she negotiated the toughest sanctions in a generation against North Korea, became the public face of U.S. opposition to Russian actions in Ukraine and Syria, lobbied to help secure the release of political prisoners around the world, and spearheaded UN reforms, including of peacekeeping efforts.

Before her academic career, Power served as a foreign correspondent, contributing to The New Yorker, New Republic, and New York Review of Books. Her books include the 2003 Pulitzer Prize winning A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, which examined U.S. responses to genocide in the 20th century.

“We could not be prouder to welcome Samantha home,” said Belfer Center Director Graham Allison. “She has been a source of inspiration and insight, and her extensive service both in Washington and as Ambassador to the United Nations will inform and enliven the intellectual life at the Center.”

Former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, who will succeed Allison as Belfer Center Director in July, said, “Few have championed human rights and international law with the rigor and real-world accomplishments of Sam Power. She is a huge asset to the Belfer Center.”

“I am very excited to return to Harvard, as I believe it is essential that we do all we can to ensure that graduates have the skills they need to succeed in messy geopolitical and multilateral environments,” Power said. “Given the daunting challenges we confront—whether from terrorism, rising nationalism, climate change, or mass atrocities—it is essential that we in academia draw lessons from experience, devise practical approaches, and prepare the next generation to improve their communities, their countries, and the world.”

For more information on this publication: Please contact the Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation:

"Samantha Power Returns." Belfer Center Newsletter, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School (Summer 2017).