Biden taps former UN envoy Samantha Power for aid post

US President-elect Joe Biden announces that he has picked Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the United Nations under President Barack Obama, to run the agency overseeing American foreign humanitarian and development aid.

If confirmed by the Senate, Power will head the US Agency for International Development, which has an annual budget of about $20 billion. Biden also announces that he is elevating the position to the National Security Council within the White House, a signal that he will prioritize outreach to other nations.

Biden has said that USAID will coordinate America’s work to lead a global response to combat the coronavirus and help the most vulnerable nations.

He calls Power “a world-renowned voice of conscience and moral clarity.”

Power served as UN ambassador from 2013 to 2017. She won a Pulitzer Prize in 2003 for her book “A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide,” about the US foreign policy response to genocide.

US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power speaks during a discussion at the Atlantic Council on “The Future of US-Russia Relations.” on January 17, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images/AFP)