Samantha Power on Wednesday was confirmed by the Senate as the new head of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in a 68-26 vote.
Power is scheduled to be ceremonially sworn-in to the role of administrator on Monday, according to USAID acting spokesperson Pooja Jhunjhunwala, who said the agency looks forward to “the vast experience she will bring to the role as Administrator.”
Following her confirmation, Power thanked supporters in a message on Twitter.
“I’m so grateful for this bipartisan vote of confidence from the Senate, and so energized to be joining the incredible @USAID team to get big things done. The Agency’s work around the world has never been more vital,” she said.
Her confirmation was applauded by international development groups like the ONE Campaign and the US Global Leadership Coalition, as well as Biden administration officials like Secretary of State Tony Blinken and Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield.
“Congratulations, Samantha Power, on your confirmation as @USAID Administrator. I can’t think of a better partner as the Administration seeks to restore U.S. global leadership and address the toughest challenges,” Blinken said on Twitter. “I very much look forward to working with you to do just that.”
Thomas-Greenfield said, “There could be no one better suited to lead @USAID at this moment. All of us here at @USUN look forward to working alongside you to help make the world a more peaceful and more prosperous place.”
In her opening statement at her Senate Foreign Relations Confirmation hearing in March, Power said she would “aim to ensure that USAID enhances its longstanding leadership in food security, education, women’s empowerment, and global health, while also addressing four interconnected and gargantuan challenges confronting the world at this moment:” the coronavirus pandemic, climate change, “conflict and state collapse,” and “democratic backsliding.”
Then President-elect Joe Biden announced in January that he intended to nominate Power, a former US Ambassador to the United Nations under President Barack Obama and longtime human rights advocate, to lead the that oversees America’s international development and humanitarian efforts. The Biden transition team said at the time that administrator position would be elevated as a member of the National Security Council.