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Obama to tap genocide fighter, Pulitzer Prize winner Samantha Power to become new United Nations Ambassador
WASHINGTON–President Barack Obama will tap United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice to become his National Security Advisor on Wednesday, to replace Tom Donilon and will appoint Samantha Power–who has advised him on foreign policy since he was a U.S. Senator from Illinois–to replace Rice.
Power led the Obama White House efforts to address genocide, stepping down several months ago as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights. Power won a Pulitzer Prize in 2003 for her book, “A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide.”
In April, 2012, Obama named her as chair of his then new Atrocities Prevention Board.
Power worked for Obama when he was in the Senate for about a year–during parts of 2005 and 2006– taking leave of her post at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
Power joined Obama’s presidential campaign early–but departed in March, 2008 after she called then Democratic presidential primary rival Hillary Clinton a “monster” in an interview with The Scotsman newspaper and the Clinton campaign organized a push for her to resign.
After a time in exile–she never really left the informal Obama fold–she joined the administration in the first term. She was in her post at the top anti-genocide adviser when Obama decided to support military air strikes against Libya,
faced with then strongman Moammar Gadhafi’s threats to slaughter his own people. In a speech Obama said America had “responsibilities to our fellow human beings” to act. To do nothing, Obama told the nation, would “have been a betrayal of who we are.”
Power is married to former University of Chicago professor Cass Sunstein, who–like Power–recently left an Obama administration post. The couple–who met in the 2008 Obama presidential campaign– have two young children.
From a White House Official: “This afternoon in the Rose Garden, the President will announce that after more than 4 years at the National Security Council, Tom Donilon will be departing as National Security Advisor in early July and will be succeeded by Ambassador Susan Rice. The President will also announce that he will nominate Samantha Power to succeed Ambassador Rice as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.”