Samantha Power studies US foreign policy, especially as it relates to war and human rights. Her books take on the world's worst problems: genocide, civil war and brutal dictatorships.

Why you should listen

Samantha Power is head of Harvard's Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, where she studies US policy as it relates to human rights, genocide and war. She's the author of a famous memo (in policy circles) suggesting that US foreign policy is utterly broken -- that the United States must return to a human rights-centered foreign policy or risk its prestige and respect in the world community. Her latest book is about Sergio Vieira de Mello, a UN diplomat who worked with the world's worst dictators to help protect the human rights of their people.

Power is also a journalist of fearless reputation. She spent 1993 to '96 reporting in the former Yugoslavia, and now contributes reportage and commentary to the New Yorker and Time. Her other books include A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide.

What others say

“We need voices like Samantha Power.” — Richard Holbrooke

Samantha Power’s TED talk

Samantha Power on the TED Blog
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Live from TEDGlobal 2013

TED Newsmakers: Samantha Power to become ambassador to the UN, Jennifer Pahlka joins White House staff

June 5, 2013

Today, Barack Obama will be naming a new U.S. ambassador to the United Nations – and sources say that it will be Samantha Power, outspoken anti-genocide official and TED2008 speaker. Power is expected to replace Susan Rice, who sources say will be named national security advisor. Power is a fascinating choice for this very important […]

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4 great talks for International Women's Day

March 8, 2009

To celebrate March 8, International Women’s Day, we suggest these four TEDTalks gems from some amazing speakers — artists, scientists and economists who think deeply about the role of women. Author and activist Isabel Allende discusses women, creativity, feminism — and the power of passionate thinkers and doers: The former Finance Minister of Nigeria, Ngozi […]

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Quotes from Samantha Power