Commencement

Samantha Power
Photo: Charles Quigg '09

Samantha Power

Doctor of Laws

Samantha Power is a leading writer and thinker on contemporary human rights issues. Her book, A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, was widely praised for drawing attention to the United States’ record of indifference to mass slaughter; in 2003 the work received the Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction, the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Council on Foreign Relations’ Arthur Ross Prize for the best book about U.S. foreign policy. More recently, Power has extended her research into Darfur, Sudan, describing the horrors of the genocide there in a New Yorker article that received the 2005 National Magazine Award for best reporting.

From 1993 to 1996, Power covered the wars in the former Yugoslavia for a number of influential publications, including U.S. News & World Report, the Boston Globe and The Economist. She then worked as a political analyst for the International Crisis Group, helping to launch the organization in Bosnia. In 1998 she returned to the U.S. to serve as founding executive director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, helping to establish the organization as a locus of expertise on the most dangerous and intractable human rights challenges of the new century, including genocide, mass atrocity, state failure and the ethics and politics of military intervention. She currently serves as a professor of practice in public policy at the Carr Center and the Kennedy School, and also is working as a foreign policy fellow in the office of U.S. Senator Barack Obama. She also is writing a book about the causes and consequences of historical amnesia in American foreign policy.

Born in Ireland, Power emigrated to the U.S. when she was nine years old. She is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard University.

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