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Dubliner Samantha Power to become US's new UN ambassador in reshuffle

Pulitzer winner Samantha Power is taking over from Susan Rice, who is becoming Barack Obama’s National Security Advisor.

Samantha Power, pictured here in 2008, will become the United States' new ambassador to the United Nations next month.
Samantha Power, pictured here in 2008, will become the United States' new ambassador to the United Nations next month.
Image: Stew Milne/AP

A DUBLIN-BORN ACADEMIC and longtime supporter of Barack Obama is to become the United States’ new ambassador to the United Nations.

Samantha Power, who lived in Castleknock until the age of nine before her parents moved to Pittsburgh, is set to replace Susan Rice as part of a top-level reshuffle.

Rice will become Obama’s new National Security Advisor, replacing Tom Donilon, a Washington veteran whom the Washington Post said had caused some difficulty by advocating decisions that allegedly prioritised Obama’s political welfare above national security.

Power, 42, was a senior advisor to Obama while he was a member of the US Senate, and was a senior figure in the early days of his presidential primary campaign in 2008 – though she was forced to step down after characterising Obama’s chief opponent, Hillary Clinton, as a “monster”.

Nonetheless, she was recruited to Obama’s transitional administration after his election that November and became a member of his National Security Council with responsibility of human rights.

In that role, she was also focused on UN reform as well as promotion of rights for women, refugees and LGBT people.

The latter responsibilities also saw Power weigh into international affairs, and it is said that she was a key figure in persuading Obama to order a military intervention against Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in Libya.

She is also noted for having written four books, including one written in 2003 dealing with America’s reluctance to condemn major atrocities as ‘genocide’ or to take responsibility for an international reaction to them.

That book, written while Power was a professor at Harvard’s School of Government, won her a Pulitzer prize.

The appointment is expected to take effect next month.

Read: The UN’s special envoy to Syria is quitting after only eight months

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Gavan Reilly

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