The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion in celebration of the recent publication of The Education of an Idealist by Ambassador Samantha Power (Dey Street Books, Sept. 2019).
Monday, September 23, 2019, at noon
Harvard Law School Milstein East A/B (Directions)
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA
No RSVP required
Ambassador Power will be joined by commentators:
William P. Alford, Vice Dean for the Graduate Program and International Legal Studies, Jerome A. and Joan L. Cohen Professor of Law, Director, East Asian Legal Studies Program, and Chair, Harvard Law School Project on Disability;
Graham Allison, Douglas Dillon Professor of Government, Harvard University; and
Ambassador Wendy R. Sherman, Professor of the Practice of Public Leadership and Director, Center for Public Leadership, Harvard Kennedy School.
This talk is co-sponsored by the Harvard Law School Library and by Harvard Law School’s International Legal Studies program.
About The Education of an Idealist
“In her memoir, Power offers an urgent response to the question “What can one person do?”—and a call for a clearer eye, a kinder heart, and a more open and civil hand in our politics and daily lives. The Education of an Idealist traces Power’s distinctly American journey from immigrant to war correspondent to presidential Cabinet official. In 2005, her critiques of US foreign policy caught the eye of newly elected senator Barack Obama, who invited her to work with him on Capitol Hill and then on his presidential campaign. After Obama was elected president, Power went from being an activist outsider to a government insider, navigating the halls of power while trying to put her ideals into practice. She served for four years as Obama’s human rights adviser, and in 2013, he named her US Ambassador to the United Nations, the youngest American to assume the role.
A Pulitzer Prize–winning writer, Power transports us from her childhood in Dublin to the streets of war-torn Bosnia to the White House Situation Room and the world of high-stakes diplomacy. Humorous and deeply honest, The Education of an Idealist lays bare the searing battles and defining moments of her life and shows how she juggled the demands of a 24/7 national security job with the challenge of raising two young children. Along the way, she illuminates the intricacies of politics and geopolitics, reminding us how the United States can lead in the world, and why we each have the opportunity to advance the cause of human dignity. Power’s memoir is an unforgettable account of the power of idealism—and of one person’s fierce determination to make a difference.” – HarperCollins Publishers
About Ambassador Samantha Power
Ambassador Samantha Power is the Anna Lindh Professor of the Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School and William D. Zabel ’61 Professor of Practice in Human Rights at Harvard Law School.
From 2013 to 2017 Power served as the 28th U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, 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 pathbreaking actions to end the Ebola crisis. President Obama has called her “one of our foremost thinkers on foreign policy,” saying that “she showed us that the international community has a moral responsibility and a profound interest in resolving conflicts and defending human dignity.”
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 promotion of religious freedom and the protection of religious minorities; and the prevention of human trafficking.
Called by Forbes “a powerful crusader for U.S foreign policy as well as human rights and democracy,” Ambassador Power has been named one of TIME’s “100 Most Influential People” and one of Foreign Policy’s“Top 100 Global Thinkers.”
Power has been recognized as a leading voice internationally for principled American engagement in the world. Her book “A Problem from Hell”: America and the Age of Genocide won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2003. 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 was the co-editor, with Derek Chollet, of The Unquiet American: Richard Holbrooke in the World (2011).
Power began her career as a journalist, reporting from places such as Bosnia, East Timor, Kosovo, Rwanda, Sudan, and Zimbabwe. Before joining the U.S. government, Power was the founding executive director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Kennedy School, a columnist for TIME, and a National Magazine Award-winning contributor to the Atlantic, the New Yorker, and the New York Review of Books.
Power earned a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.