The Kennedy School of Government announced last week the appointment of Samantha Power as the first Anna Lindh Professor of Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy.
“[Power] is someone of course who has done extraordinary work,” Kennedy School Dean David T. Ellwood said. “She is a woman of great energy and integrity. I think she’s the kind of person that Anna Lindh would be proud to have in a chair of her name.”
The chair, established through donations from members of the Swedish community and friends of Lindh, is named in honor of Lindh, a Swedish politician who served as Minister of the Environment before becoming Minister of Foreign Affairs. Lindh was assassinated in 2003.
Power said she didn’t know Anna Lindh while she was living, but feels as if they were “separated at birth.”
“She showed up at meetings with foreign policy professionals with all her papers stuffed into her back pack,” Power said. “She had a wicked sense of humor.”
But Power also said that she had a “big set of shoes to step into.”
“Now I have to live up to ‘A Problem From Hell’ and Anna Lindh. It’s a problem we would all love to have,” Power said.
Both Ellwood and Power emphasized the importance of being a professor of practice, which goes beyond the academic realm.
“Practice is the key word in the title,” Power said. “It’s a very radical notion that an idea or a set of ideas can make a difference in the public policy process.”
After leaving Harvard last year to work with Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill.) in Washington D.C., she has now returned to Cambridge to work on her latest book about Sergio Vieira de Mello, the former United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights, a book that she is trying to turn into a major motion picture directed by Terry George, the director of “Hotel Rwanda.” She will return to teaching this spring, taking on a freshman seminar and a Kennedy School class on U.S. foreign policy and human rights. She is also trying to establish an undergraduate lecture on human rights to be offered in the future.
Power received tenure at the Kennedy School last year after being promoted from a lecturer position.
—Staff writer Claire M. Guehenno can be reached at email@example.com.