US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power has been selected to deliver the University’s 259th Commencement Address on May 18. As ambassador, she has focused attention on obstacles to global peace—including the UN Security Council, which she has criticized in connection with the conflict in Syria. She has also been a vocal advocate for the advancement of LGBT and women’s rights, religious freedom, and the protection of religious minorities.
Power began her career as a journalist, and is the author of A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, which won a Pulitzer Prize in 2003. She was also the Anna Lindh Professor of the Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, has served in President Obama’s cabinet, and was senior director for multilateral affairs and human rights on the White House National Security Council.
Sharing the stage with Power will be honorary-degree recipients Arthur K. Asbury, the Van Meter Professor Emeritus of Neurology at the Perelman School of Medicine; Lee C. Bollinger, president of Columbia University; Joan Myers Brown, founder and executive artistic director of the Philadelphia School of Dance Arts and the Philadelphia Dance Company; astronaut Ellen Ochoa; Emmy-, Grammy-, Oscar-, and Tony-award winning performer Rita Moreno; and legal scholar Cass R. Sunstein.