Samantha Power chosen by Biden to lead top US development agency

Dublin-born academic ‘will rally the international community’, says president-elect

Former US ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power has been nominated by president-elect Joe Biden to lead USAid, the government's top development agency.

Ms Power was born Dublin and is an academic at Harvard University. She said she felt "immensely fortunate to have the chance to serve again, working with the incredible USAid team to confront Covid-19, climate change, humanitarian crises, and more," at a critical moment. "As a journalist, activist, and diplomat, I've seen the world-changing impact of USAid."

Announcing the appointment, Mr Biden described his former colleague in the Obama administration as “a leading voice for humane and principled American engagement in the world.”

“Power will rally the international community and work with our partners to confront the biggest challenges of our time – including Covid-19, climate change, global poverty, and democratic backsliding.”


Ms Power (50) worked as an activist, journalist and author before joining the Obama administration. Her 2003 book, A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, won a Pulitzer prize. As director of US Aid she will also be a member of the National Security Council, led by incoming national security advisor Jake Sullivan.

Ms Power emigrated to the United States from Ireland when she was nine years old, and graduated from high school in Atlanta, Georgia.

Suzanne Lynch

Suzanne Lynch

Suzanne Lynch, a former Irish Times journalist, was Washington correspondent and, before that, Europe correspondent