Samantha Power is the 19th Administrator of USAID, the world’s largest bilateral development agency with a global staff of over 11,000 across more than 100 countries.
As USAID Administrator, Power has led the Agency in prioritizing efforts to address some of the world’s greatest development and humanitarian challenges, including climate change, the global food crisis, emerging threats to global health, and rising threats to democracy and civil society. Power has also focused on advancing a series of reforms aimed at making USAID’s work more inclusive and effective, and at extending the Agency’s impact beyond its foreign assistance programs. Since 2021, USAID has taken a range of steps to significantly expand partnerships with local organizations, mobilize powerful new investments from nontraditional partners in the private sector, and better attract and retain talent that reflects the best of America. Additionally, Power is the first USAID Administrator to serve as a member of the National Security Council.
Prior to joining the Biden-Harris Administration, Power served as the 28th U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 2013 to 2017 under President Obama. During her tenure at the UN, she rallied countries to combat the Ebola epidemic and ratify the Paris climate agreement, worked to negotiate and implement the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals, and helped catalyze bold international commitments to better support refugees.
From 2009 to 2013, Power served on the National Security Council staff as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights, where she advised President Obama on issues such as supporting democratic governance, UN reform, LGBTQI+ and women’s rights, atrocity prevention, and efforts to combat human trafficking and corruption.
An immigrant from Ireland, Power began her career as a war correspondent in Bosnia, and went on to report from countries including Kosovo, Rwanda, Sudan, and Zimbabwe. She was the founding executive director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, and from 2017 to 2021 was 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. Power is an author and editor of multiple books, and the recipient of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction.
She holds a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.