I am very excited to see that Samantha Power is being appointed as United States Ambassador to the United Nations. Power is a strong advocate for a liberal foreign policy that focuses on human rights. In particular, Power has focused her writing and advocacy on the need to prevent and halt genocide.
Power, a graduate of Harvard Law School, came to prominence in the 1990s writing as a journalist about the American failure to respond to the genocide in Rwanda and the slow American response to atrocities in the former Yugoslavia. I was heavily influenced by her 2002 book A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide.
Power transitioned into policy and politics from journalism, first as the Founding Executive Director of the
Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and later as an advisor to Senator Barack Obama. Her presence on Obama’s campaign team is one of the reasons that I supported Obama early on in his primary battle with Hillary Clinton.
With the current events taking place in Syria, Turkey, and around the world, I am glad to see Samantha Power as our ambassador to the United Nations. I hope this means that rumblings about Obama taking a realist approach to foreign policy are misinterpretations.
Now, we need to see action. With Obama’s recent statements on the detection center at Guantanamo Bay and the drone strike program, these gestures of good will and humane policy need to be carried out and made a reality.
There is a time for speeches. Now is a time for action.