Biden Names Former U.N. Envoy to Head USAID, Beefs Up Asia Staff

Biden Names Former U.N. Envoy to Head USAID, Beefs Up Asia Staff

Samantha Power, a former U.S. ambassador to the U.N., will seek to revive a troubled agency, while Obama-era veterans Kurt Campbell and Ely Ratner get top Asia jobs.

President-elect Joe Biden has tapped former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power to head up the U.S. Agency for International Development, putting the high-profile former journalist in charge of the foreign-aid agency that has been crippled by budget cuts and mismanagement over the past four years. 

NBC News first reported that Power, an Irish immigrant who first came to prominence for her Pulitzer Prize-winning study of U.S. responses to genocide, had been named to the job, which has since been confirmed by the transition team. The move signals that foreign aid could be a significant part of the incoming team’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, as the new administration will elevate the USAID chief to membership on the National Security Council.