Obama names Susan Rice and Samantha Power

Last week President Obama named Susan Rice as Tom Donilon’s replacement for National Security Advisor. Ms. Rice, who currently serves as the US Ambassador to the UN, will be replaced by Samantha Power, most recently the chair of President Obama’s newly-created Atrocities Prevention Board. Both women have been featured on IntLawGrrls (see here, here, and here.)

rice power obama

Ms. Rice was the youngest assistant secretary of state in history when she was appointed by Bill Clinton in 1997, focusing on African affairs and attended Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. She was considered the frontrunner to take over as Secretary of State following Hillary Clinton’s exit, but withdrew after criticism over her role in the public fallout following the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi last year. (Photo credit here).

Ms. Power taught U.S. foreign policy, human rights, and extremism at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and was the founding Executive Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. She also served as a war correspondent covering conflicts in Bosnia, East Timor, Kosovo, Rwanda, and Zimbabwe and won a Pullitzer Prize for her book “A Problem from Hell”: America and the Age of Genocide.”

Both women are seen as liberal interventionists with strong human rights backgrounds and many are waiting to see if their appointment will influence President Obama’s decision to intervene in Syria.

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