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Women and Leadership

Samantha Power on Diplomacy, Motherhood, and the 24-7 Job 'of a Lifetime'

Nov 02, 2016 | 5 videos
Video by The Atlantic

At 42, Samantha Power became the youngest person to be appointed U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Now, she is a powerful force in steering America’s foreign policy and dictating intervention abroad. “My style in diplomacy is my style as a human being—I’m very direct and very honest,” she says in this video. Despite being surrounded by men on the security council, she admits that she carries a lot of clout as an American. “We’re the largest donor, we’re the host country, we’re the superpower—so people’s ability to be dismissive or patronizing with me are limited.” Power is also a mother of two young children. Balancing motherhood with a job that bends to global events is difficult, but Power says it informs her work in meaningful ways. “It’s not ideal to always be one eye on the blackberry, and two arms around my children,” she explains. “For the sake of mothers out there who don’t have the blackberry but do have the children and are hoping someone will be raising their voice on their behalf, it’s a great privilege.”

This is the fifth episode of The Atlantic’s video series “Women and Leadership,” which explores insights and advice from five women in politics, entertainment, and tech.

Authors: Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg, Nicolas Pollock, Jeremy Raff

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About This Series

An Atlantic video series featuring insights from five women in politics, media, and tech