Childhood & Early Life
Samantha Jane Power was born on September 21, 1970, into an upper-middle-class family in London, U.K. Her mother, Vera Delaney, was a kidney doctor and an international-level athlete, while her father, Jim Power, was a dentist and pianist. Both her parents were Irish and settled in the U.K. at the time of her birth.
Soon after Samantha was born, her parents moved to Dublin, Ireland, where Samantha spent the first 9 years of her life. She attended the ‘Mount Anville Montessori Junior School’ in Goatstown, Dublin. Ever since she was a child, she showed signs of being a gifted student. She was academically brilliant and also played sports.
At 9, she moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., with her parents. Soon, the family moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where Samantha resumed her education.
Tragedy struck her family when, at the age of 14, she lost her father. She was devastated by his death and later mentioned in her books that she had somehow blamed herself for her father’s untimely demise.
While attending the ‘Lakeside High School’ in Georgia, she also excelled in sports. She was a member of her high-school basketball team and the cross-country team. She was academically brilliant. Since she was passionate about writing and sports, she aspired to become a sports journalist.
She joined ‘Yale University,’ where she pursued a BA degree. While there, she witnessed the ‘Tiananmen Square’ incident live on TV while doing an internship as a sports journalist. This event moved her, and she decided to become a journalist. She obtained her BA degree in history from ‘Yale University.’ She later attended ‘Harvard Law School,’ eventually obtaining her Juris Doctor degree.
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Soon after graduating from ‘Yale University,’ she had started working as a war correspondent for publications such as ‘The Boston Globe,’ ‘The Economist,’ ‘The New Republic,’ and the ‘U.S. News & World Report.’ She had covered the Yugoslav War for these publications.
While attending law school in the late 1990s, she began working on her book first book, ‘A Problem from Hell.’ The book was released in 2002, when she was working as a professor of human rights practice at ‘Harvard University.’ The book featured her criticism of American policymakers and their stands on international issues, such as the Armenian Genocide.
The book was a brave attempt at proving with examples that American policymakers look after the U.S.A.’s interests first. The book became immensely popular and earned her a ‘Pulitzer Prize’ in the general non-fiction category, along with a ‘J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize.’
Her popularity soared following her ‘Pulitzer’ win. In 2004, she was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by ‘Time’ magazine. A few years later, she started working as a regular column writer for ‘Time.’
In the mid-2000s, she joined U.S. Senator Barack Obama’s office, as a member of the ‘Democratic Party,’ owing to her expertise on foreign affairs. She was instrumental in drawing Obama’s attention to the ongoing war in Sudan.
She was hired by Obama as his foreign policy advisor during his presidential campaign in 2008. Samantha had been a staunch supporter of Barack Obama ever since his days as a senator.
As his supporter, she wrote a memo titled ‘Conventional Washington versus the Change We Need,’ in which she mentioned that Obama had the right approach of dealing with international matters. According to her, conventional approaches were not going to work in the 21st-century world.
Around the same time, in early 2008, she embarked on a tour to promote her new book ‘Chasing the Flame.’ However, she talked more about Obama’s effective foreign policies than her book. She publicly praised Obama’s attitude toward the Armenian Genocide.
In a March 2008 interview, she publicly called Hillary Clinton a monster. She received a lot of flak for the statement and thus resigned from the campaign.
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Barack Obama won the election and became the president in 2008. Following this, Samantha was hired as the special assistant to the president in the ‘National Security Council.’
While in office, she urged the U.S.A. to intervene in the Libyan Civil War. She wanted the country to use the military on humanitarian grounds. However, in February 2013, she left the ‘National Security Council.’
Soon after she left her job in the Obama cabinet, she was nominated by him to be the American ambassador to the ‘United Nations.’ She received support, not only from Obama but also from ‘Republic Party’ senators such as John McCain and Lindsay Graham. This meant that her appointment was somehow unquestioned.
In August 2013, she was confirmed as the U.S. ambassador in the senate, where she got 87 votes in her favor and 10 against her.
While serving as part of the ‘United Nations,’ she raised her voice against many issues, in coherence with her liberal point of view, which in turn reflected the ‘Democratic Party’s views. She talked openly about women’s rights, LGBT rights, religious freedom, human rights, and democracy.
She also had a soft stand on the problem of refugees and wanted the ‘United Nations’ to make policies in their favor. She was also a vocal supporter of establishing fully functioning democratic governments in the Middle Eastern countries, the Northern African countries, Sudan, and Myanmar.
The U.S. military intervened in the Libyan conflict with an aim to establish peace. Samantha had been a key factor behind Obama’s decision.
In 2016, ‘Forbes’ magazine honored her by placing her at the 41st spot on the list of the most powerful women in the world.
Her life and works were covered in the documentary film titled ‘Watchers of the Sky,’ which mentioned the roles of many people in addressing the problem of mass genocide and suggesting ways to prevent it from taking place in the modern world.
She has been honored with a ‘Henry A. Kissinger Prize’ and a ‘Barnard Medal of Distinction.’