Samantha Power – China, the UN, and the Future of Human Rights | 2020 Neuhauser Memorial Lecture



Speaker: Samantha Power
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, 2013-2017
Anna Lindh Professor of the Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School of Government
William D. Zabel Professor of Practice in Human Rights, Harvard Law School

Ambassador Samantha Power is the Anna Lindh Professor of the Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School and the William D. Zabel Professor of Practice in Human Rights at Harvard Law School.

From 2013 to 2017 Power served as the 28th U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, as well as a member of President Obama’s cabinet. In this role, Power became the public face of U.S. opposition to Russian aggression in Ukraine and Syria, negotiated the toughest sanctions in a generation against North Korea, lobbied to secure the release of political prisoners, helped build new international law to cripple ISIL’s financial networks, and supported President Obama’s path-breaking actions to end the Ebola crisis.

From 2009 to 2013, Power served on the National Security Council as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights, where she focused on issues including atrocity prevention, UN reform, LGBT and women’s rights, the protection of religious minorities, and the prevention of human trafficking.

Before joining the U.S. government, Power was the founding executive director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Kennedy School.

Power’s book, “A Problem from Hell”: America and the Age of Genocide won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2003. Power is also the author of the New York Times bestseller Chasing the Flame: One Man’s Fight to Save the World (2008) and the editor, with Derek Chollet, of The Unquiet American: Richard Holbrooke in the World (2011). Her most recent book, The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir (2019), was a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestseller, and was selected as one of the best books of 2019 by the New York Times, Washington Post, Economist, NPR, and TIME. Power began her career as a journalist, reporting from places such as Bosnia, East Timor, Kosovo, Rwanda, Sudan, and Zimbabwe and has twice been named to TIME’s “100 Most Influential People” list.

Power earned a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. She immigrated to the United States from Ireland at the age of 9 and today lives in Concord, Massachusetts with her husband Cass Sunstein and their two young children.

The Charles Neuhauser Memorial Lecture is an annual lecture at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University.

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