Senior adviser in the Obama Administration and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Samantha Power ’99 will be the 2010 Class Day speaker at HLS. Selected by this year’s Class Marshals, Power will address graduates on May 26 as part of Class Day.
An expert on human rights and foreign policy, Power is currently serving as special assistant to the president and senior director for multilateral affairs and human rights at the National Security Council. She is also the Anna Lindh Professor of Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy and founder of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Her writings include the 2008 book “Chasing the Flame: Sergio Vieira de Mello and the Fight to Save the World,” about the slain U.N. diplomat; and “’A Problem from Hell’”: America and the Age of Genocide, which received the 2003 Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and a Council on Foreign Relations prize. A journalist before law school, Power covered the wars in the former Yugoslavia. After becoming a professor at the Kennedy School, Power continued to report from such places as Burundi, East Timor, Kosovo, Rwanda, Sudan, and Zimbabwe.
Power was a senior adviser to the Obama campaign, and after the election, she was a member of the transition team looking at how the new administration should approach national security, defense, and state department issues.