What they are saying about Biden’s nominee for USAID Administrator Samantha Power

President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Wednesday announced Ambassador Samantha Power as his nominee for United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator and elevated the position to become a member of the National Security Council.

The Biden-Harris team described Power as “a crisis-tested public servant and diplomat” who has been “a leader in marshaling the world to resolve long-running conflicts, respond to humanitarian emergencies, defend human dignity, and strengthen the rule of law and democracy.”

As USAID Administrator, she will work with partners to confront the COVID-19 pandemic, lift up vulnerable communities, fight for the value of every human being, and advance American interests around the globe, the Biden-Harris team added.

Below is what many are saying about her nomination.

Senator Chris Coons: I am excited to see that the President-elect has chosen Samantha Power to lead the U.S. Agency for International Development, the federal agency responsible for foreign assistance. This is a critical position, and I am confident that Ambassador Power’s values, experience, and vision will serve her well in this role. Ambassador Power knows what it means to respect human rights, defend democracy, foster economic development, and work tirelessly to prevent atrocities abroad. From her early days as a journalist to her work as U.S. Ambassador to the UN, she has shown a deep understanding of the national security and humanitarian challenges facing the U.S., our allies, and our partners.  [Press Release, 1/13/21]

Senator Ed Markey: Congratulations to my friend, and constituent, @SamanthaJPower who will lead our foreign assistance and development efforts with the same skill and wisdom with which she approaches all of her work. She has again chosen to serve. The country and world will be better for it. [Tweet, 1/13/21]

Madeleine Albright, Former Secretary of State: .@JoeBiden has made another outstanding choice in nominating the brilliant @SamanthaJPower to lead @USAID and elevating the role of this vital agency. Ambassador Power understands that America’s investments in democracy and development are critical to our security and way of life [Tweet, 1/13/21]

Dr. Rajiv Shah, Former USAID Administrator: Congrats to @SamanthaJPower, an extraordinary, values-driven, determined & experienced leader. Her vision and toughness will lift the spirits of @USAID’s incredible workforce and elevate America’s values as part of our foreign policy at a time when the world desperately needs it. [Tweet, 1/13/21]

Gayle Smith, Former USAID Administrator: Congrats to @SamanthaJPower, nominee for @USAID Administrator – one of the greatest jobs in government. President-elect @JoeBiden gets it: development matters – to people all over the world and to us as Americans. [Tweet, 1/13/21]

Representative Adriano Espaillat: .@SamanthaJPower is an unmatched coalition builder & an exemplary leader w/ a strong track record to prove it. As USAID Administrator, I trust sheʼll draw on this track record to bolster global cooperation to confront the biggest challenges of our time. [Tweet, 1/13/21

Representative Andy Kim: You won’t find a better public servant than @SamanthaJPower to head up @USAID. Excited to see her lead the place where I got my start. [Tweet, 1/13/21]

Representative Lori Trahan: .@SamanthaJPower will bring the experience needed at @USAID to reestablish America as a respected leader on the world stage. I’m grateful to @JoeBiden for her nomination and extending my congratulations to Ambassador Power, who I am honored to represent. [Tweet, 1/13/21]

John Brennan, Former CIA Director: An outstanding nomination. Throughout her illustrious career, Samantha Power has been a compassionate, principled, & determined advocate of global peace, security, & development through wise American engagement & assistance. She will be terrific! [Tweet, 1/13/21]

Ambassador Donald Steinberg, Former USAID Deputy Administrator: President-elect Joe Biden’s selection of former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power as his nominee to be the next administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development sends a clear message that international cooperation is back in the toolbox for America’s pursuit of an equitable, prosperous, and just world … Power is smart, savvy, and ready to serve.” [Just Security, 1/13/21]

Ambassador Dan Shapiro: Congratulations to my good friend & colleague @SamanthaJPower on her nomination to be @USAID Administrator. She has vision, wisdom & toughness, and will help restore US leadership addressing many of the world’s most pressing problems, from COVID to hunger to climate to migration. [Tweet, 1/13/21]Stacey Abrams, Fair Fight: Excellent decision – @SamanthaJPower possesses the mind and heart to show the world again who we can be. [Tweet, 1/13/21]

J Street: Throughout her distinguished career, Ambassador Power has proven herself to be a strong advocate for diplomacy, human rights and international law. She will help to revitalize US assistance programs around the world, repairing the damage caused by an administration that hollowed out our diplomatic efforts, violated important agreements and exacerbated humanitarian crises by slashing US aid to countries and peoples in desperate need of it. [Statement, 1/13/21]

InterAction: We applaud President-elect Biden for naming Ambassador Power as part of his first wave of nominees prior to the inauguration and for elevating the position to be a full member of the National Security Council. These actions reflect the higher priority the Biden-Harris Administration will place on international development, global health, human rights, and humanitarian action. Ambassador Power is a principled American foreign policy leader and expert in global cooperation. [Statement, 1/13/21]

Abby Maxman, Oxfam America: Oxfam welcomes the nomination of Ambassador Samantha Power as USAID Administrator. After four years of policies that have politicized life-saving US assistance and undermined this country’s role and standing in the world, Ambassador Power brings the experience necessary to help deliver a more coherent, equitable, and multilateral US foreign policy agenda that meets the urgency of this moment. [Statement, 1/13/21

Michelle Nunn, CARE: CARE is encouraged by the Biden administration’s speedy nomination of Samantha Power to lead the US Agency for International Development and the decision to elevate the position of USAID Administrator to the National Security Council. As a longtime human rights advocate and former US Ambassador to the United Nations, we believe Power’s deep experience in addressing crises around the globe makes her a terrific choice. [Statement, 1/13/21] 

Janti Soeripto, Save the Children: .@SamanthaJPower has long track record of giving voice to the vulnerable. At a time when the challenges for children around the world have never been greater, she is an excellent choice to lead @USAID. @SavetheChildren looks forward to working with her! [Tweet, 1/13/21

Elizabeth Cousens, UN Foundation: Absolutely thrilled with this news! @SamanthaJPower will bring a deep understanding of the issues, a fierce determination to drive progress, and immense compassion and respect for our shared humanity. Huge congrats friend, looking forward to working with you at @USAID. [Tweet, 1/13/21

International Rescue Committee: All of us at @RESCUEorg welcome the nomination of Samantha Power (@SamanthaJPower) for @USAID administrator. A champion for refugees and vulnerable populations, her experience in global affairs and desire to restore U.S. moral leadership is needed now more than ever. [Tweet, 1/13/21]Kevin Ryan, Covenant House: I cannot think of a more hope-filled nomination. To have @SamanthaJPower at the helm of @USAID is cause for celebration. She is an extraordinary human rights advocate. This nomination is a cause for celebration among all those committed to justice and dignity. Thank you @JoeBiden [Tweet, 1/13/21]

Pete Yeo, Better World Campaign: Excellent news! Samantha Power is a seasoned, experienced diplomat & scholar who understands the importance of USAID’s work to grow economies and reduce poverty throughout the world. Her first-hand knowledge of #UN is key given its close coop w/USAID nbcnews.com/politics/2020-… [Tweet, 1/13/21]

Liz Schrayer, US Global Leadership Coalition: A Power Pick for ⁦@USAID⁩ ! Elevates position to ⁦@WHNSC⁩ – she has the intellect, experience, credibility, network, and passion. Sends a clear message that #development has a seat at the table! Excellent pick. Congrats Samantha Power![Tweet, 1/13/21]

Planned Parenthood Global: As a steadfast voice for human rights, Amb @SamanthaJPower has the experience and the opportunity to advance sexual and reproductive healths and rights for people around the world as USAID Administrator. [Tweet, 1/13/21]

American Jewish Committee: Congratulations to @SamanthaJPower, a leading voice for principled American engagement in the world, on her nomination as the next @USAID Administrator. We wish her every success in her new role. [Tweet, 1/13/21

Tony Fratto, Former Deputy Press Secretary for George W. Bush: This is an excellent nomination.  This is such an important time for @USAID, and with @SamanthaJPower the agency will be in very [g]ood hands… [Tweet, 1/13/21]Michael Gerson, Former aide to George W. Bush: I have enormous respect for Ambassador Power. She knows the world and the essential US role within it. Above all, she has a strong moral core and compass. Human dignity has always been her guiding commitment. [Tweet, 1/13/21] 

Lauren Baer, Former USUN Advisor: On an otherwise dark day for America, this is a bright spot. @SamanthaJPower will guide @USAID with skill and moral clarity. Our country is fortunate that she has again stepped up to lead. [Tweet, 1/13/21]

Mark Bromley, Council for Global Equality Chair: We are absolutely delighted to see Samantha Power’s nomination for USAID. She brings deep experience and political weight to the position. She also understands the importance of a human rights approach to development and has been a strong supporter of LGBTI rights at the U.N. and beyond. [Washington Blade, 1/13/21]

Oona Hathaway, Yale Law School: This is a great role for @SamanthaJPower. @USAID has been neglected and defunded by Trump; its rejuvenation is key to increasing stability in post-conflict regions, as well as reducing human suffering around the world. [Tweet, 1/13/21]

Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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