Ambassador Samantha Power to be Yale’s Class Day speaker

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New Haven, Conn.—Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations and a member of President Obama’s Cabinet, will be this year’s Class Day speaker.

Power will deliver the Class Day lecture to the graduating Yale College Class of 2016 on Sunday, May 22 at 2 p.m. on Old Campus. The event is part of Commencement weekend exercises. Additional logistical information about the Ambassador’s remarks is forthcoming.

A graduate of Yale College (Class of 1992), Power has sought — and continues to seek — to make our world a better place, said the Class Day organizers, adding that her perseverance, bravery, and passion are inspirational.

Power (a resident of Davenport College during her undergraduate years at Yale) has received international renown for her career as a journalist, human rights activist, academic, and diplomat.

Power lived in Ireland until she was 9 years old, when her family immigrated to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After graduating from Yale, Ambassador Power worked as a journalist covering the wars in the Balkans, and went on to report from East Timor, Kosovo, Sudan, and Zimbabwe, among other conflict areas. She is a graduate of Harvard Law School and is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning “’A Problem from Hell’: America and the Age of Genocide” and ”Chasing the Flame: Sergio Vieira de Mello and the Fight to Save the World,” which was the basis for the award-winning HBO documentary “Sergio.”   

Power was the Anna Lindh Professor of the Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, where she was the founding executive director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. Prior to being appointed U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations and a member of President Obama's cabinet in 2013, Power served for four years as a special assistant to the president and senior director for multilateral affairs and human rights at the National Security Council. She is married to Professor Cass Sunstein, and they have two young children.