Biden Mulling Ex-Envoy to UN Samantha Power for USAID Head, Report Says


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Picking Power for the position apparently implies the presumed administration of Biden intends to use foreign aid as an instrument of American “soft power”, the report added.

Joe Biden is considering naming Samantha Power for the head of the US Agency for International Development, Axios reported on late Sunday, citing sources familiar with the matter.

According to the report, the former US ambassador to the UN and foreign policy and human rights adviser to Barack Obama will be focused on rejoining the World Health Organization – which President Trump withdrew from in July 2020 – and managing the US’ global response to coronavirus. 

Power has been harshly critical of the Trump administration’s response to the pandemic, which she slammed as “worse than that of any other nation”. Trump, in his turn, has faulted the WHO for failing to provide a swift and appropriate response to the pandemic.

In 2011, Power and then-Vice President Biden disagreed on a no-fly zone over Libya. Power and ex-president Barack Obama supported the idea, while Biden opposed it. US’ involvement in Libya negatively affected its relations with Russia and helped topple and kill Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, triggering a civil war that continues up to the present.

No final decision on the post has been made so far, meaning there are other possible candidates.

The news of Powell’s alleged nomination comes after the Biden transition team officially confirmed several picks for the key positions in his presumed administration. Among the most discussed is retired four-star Army Gen Lloyd Austin, who Biden has chosen for secretary of defence.

Biden’s pool of picks are mostly officials he worked with while serving as vice president in the Obama Administration. The projected president-elect has also pledged that his administration will be the most diverse in US history, meaning it will mostly consist of women and people of colour.

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