"The Education of an Idealist"
A conversation with former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power
Reception and book signing to follow.
About the event:
Join us for an arm-chair conversation between Ambassador Samantha Power and Professor John Ciorciari, Director of the Weiser Diplomacy Center, as they discuss Ambassador Power’s distinguished career and her just-published book, The Education of an Idealist. This memoir traces Power’s distinctly American journey, from Irish immigrant to human rights activist to United States Ambassador to the United Nations. Power’s perspective on government is unique, as she takes us from the streets of war-torn Bosnia to the Situation Room and out into the world of high-stakes diplomacy.
For more information about the book, visit the publisher's page.
From the speaker's bio:
Ambassador Samantha Power served as the 28th U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 2013 to 2017, as well as a member of President Obama’s cabinet. In this role, Power became the public face of U.S. opposition to Russian aggression in Ukraine and Syria, negotiated the toughest sanctions in a generation against North Korea, lobbied to secure the release of political prisoners, helped build new international law to cripple ISIL’s financial networks, and supported President Obama’s path-breaking actions to end the Ebola crisis.
From 2009 to 2013, Power served on the National Security Council as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights, where she focused on issues including atrocity prevention, UN reform, LGBT and women’s rights, the protection of religious minorities, and the prevention of human trafficking.
Before joining the U.S. government, Power was the founding executive director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Kennedy School. She currently is the Anna Lindh Professor of the Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School and Professor of Practice at Harvard Law School.
Power’s book, “A Problem from Hell”: America and the Age of Genocide won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and many other awards. Power is also author of the New York Times bestseller Chasing the Flame: Sergio Vieira de Mello and the Fight to Save the World (2008) and the editor, with Derek Chollet, of The Unquiet American: Richard Holbrooke in the World (2011). She has just completed a memoir, The Education of an Idealist, published by Harper Collins in September 2019. She began her career as a journalist, reporting from places such as Bosnia, East Timor, Kosovo, Rwanda, Sudan, and Zimbabwe and has twice been named to Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” list. She immigrated to the United States from Ireland at the age of 9 and today lives in Concord, Massachusetts with her husband Cass Sunstein and their two young children. Power earned a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
About the Vandenberg Lecture Series:The Meijer Family established the Vandenberg Fund to honor U.S. Senator Arthur Vandenberg, who served the State of Michigan in the U.S. Senate from 1928-1951. Senator Vandenberg forged bipartisan support for our country's most significant and enduring foreign policies of the twentieth century, including the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan, NATO and the creation of the United Nations.
About the WDC lecture series:
This event forms part of the series in celebration of the launch of the Weiser Diplomacy Center (WDC), housed in the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. WDC is a hub for practical training and policy dialogue on diplomacy and foreign affairs. WDC trains students for careers in international service, provides a meeting point for academics and practitioners, and serves as a bridge between U-M and the foreign policy community. WDC engages Professors of Practice and regular visiting practitioners and aims to be one of the country’s leading loci for the study of foreign affairs.
Hosted as part of the Ford School's Conversations Across Difference Initiative.