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Biden names U.S.'s former UN ambassador Power to lead USAID

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on Wednesday named Samantha Power, the former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, as his choice to lead the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), citing her deep experience addressing crises around the world.

“Power will rally the international community and work with our partners to confront the biggest challenges of our time — including COVID-19, climate change, global poverty, and democratic backsliding,” his transition team said in a statement.

“A crisis-tested public servant and diplomat, Ambassador Power has been a leader in marshaling the world to resolve long-running conflicts, respond to humanitarian emergencies, defend human dignity, and strengthen the rule of law and democracy,” it added.

The longtime human rights advocate served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under Democratic then-President Barack Obama and then-Vice President Biden from 2013 to 2017.

Power, 50, also served as a White House national security staffer under Obama from 2009 to 2013. A former journalist, she won a Pulitzer Prize for her book “A Problem from Hell,” a study of U.S. failure to prevent genocide.

“As a journalist, activist, and diplomat, I’ve seen the world-changing impact of USAID. At this critical moment, I feel immensely fortunate to have the chance to serve again, working with the incredible USAID team to confront COVID-19, climate change, humanitarian crises, & more,” Power posted on Twitter.

Reporting by Susan Heavey, additional reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Giles Elgood

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