The Ford Foundation announced today the election of Samantha Power to serve as a member of its Board of Trustees.
Ambassador Power is currently the Anna Lindh Professor of the Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, and William D. Zabel ’61 Professor of Practice in Human Rights at Harvard Law School. From 2013 to 2017 she was the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations and a member of President Obama’s Cabinet. Power served from 2009 to 2013 as special assistant to the President and senior director for multilateral affairs and human rights on the National Security Council at the White House. In this role she focused on issues including preventing mass atrocities, promoting LGBTQ+ and women’s rights and combatting corruption and human trafficking.
“Ambassador Power is a tenacious and fierce advocate for justice. Her conviction and commitment to human rights have shaped real, true change in the world and we are thrilled she has joined us,” said Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation. “The Ford Foundation will benefit tremendously from her experience, determination and global perspective on our board.”
Francisco G. Cigarroa, Ford Foundation Board of Trustees Chair said, “Ambassador Power is a deeply experienced leader and we’re honored to have her join the trustees of the Ford Foundation. Her voice is a welcome addition to our exceptional and dedicated group of trustees. I look forward to working closely with her as Ford continues to take aim at the root causes of inequality.”
Before joining the Obama administration, Power taught at the Kennedy School where she was the founding executive director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. She began her career as a journalist, reporting from places such as Bosnia, East Timor, Rwanda, Sudan, and Zimbabwe, and contributed to The Atlantic, The New Republic, the New York Review of Books, and The New Yorker Magazine.
“Throughout my career, I have witnessed The Ford Foundation’s profound impact on human rights and social justice in the United States and around the world,” Power said. “With human rights under seige in many countries, I look forward to working with Ford and its brave and determined partners in the struggle for equality, dignity, and basic rights for all.”
Power’s most recent book is The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir (2019). She is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “A Problem from Hell”: America and the Age of Genocide (2002) and Chasing the Flame: Sergio Vieira de Mello and the Fight to Save the World (2008), the basis for the award-winning HBO documentary, “Sergio.” She is also the co-editor of The Unquiet American: Richard Holbrooke in the World (2011).
Power’s family immigrated to the United States when she was nine years old, and she received a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Ford Foundation trustees are elected by the full board and serve six-year terms. Trustees set broad policy relating to grant making, geographic focus, investments, governance, and professional standards, and they oversee independent audits. The foundation’s trustees span four continents and have extensive experience in the worlds of higher education, business and finance, technology, law, government, and the nonprofit sector.