As those of you who have been here before know, and those of you who have not been here may not know, you are sitting in the historic room where the Japanese at the end of the successful negotiations between the Russians and the Japanese held an event commemorating the fact that the peace was achieved and essentially ‘buried the hatchet,’ to use the newspaper idioms of the time.
In 1905 the Governor of New Hampshire, the US Navy and the people of New Hampshire hosted the Russian and Japanese diplomats on behalf of Theodore Roosevelt. The Portsmouth Peace Treaty Forum, because of the success of that event, brings speakers at this time to talk about issues having to do with diplomacy in the spirit of the Portsmouth Peace Treaty. So, tonight in the spirit of the Portsmouth Peace Treaty, we have Samantha Power, the Anna Lindh professor of Global Leadership and Public Policy Practice at the John F, Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, the author of A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide which received numerous awards including the Pulitzer Prize. She is an active journalist reporting from Rwanda, Burundi, Cambodia Kosovo, East Timor, Zimbabwe, Sudan and elsewhere. She has contributed to many national publications including Time, The New Yorker and recently you may have seen her article in the New York Review of Books which goes over all American foreign policy.
She is the founder/executive director of the Carr Center for Human Rights at the Kennedy School and she is the author of a new book called Chasing the Flame. When I got her to bring her up here, she was on the phone with Doris Kearns Goodwin and Doris Kearns Goodwin had a comment about her book, which I will read: “This majestic, profoundly important book deserves to reach the widest possible audience. As a biography of an endlessly fascinating man, it is beautifully written, enthralling from start to finish. As a study of leadership, it ranks with the very best. And as an analysis of how to respond to the struggles of the new era in which we find ourselves, it is the defining work for our generation.”
Samantha has been picked to be one of the 75 most influential people in the world by Esquire Magazine and you all probably know she and her husband who is sitting with her today are on the Obama transition team.
There will be questions after this introduction but she is not, because of her position on the team, allowed to take any questions about the transition. So with that warning and the fact that she will take questions afterward and will sign copies of her book, I would like to introduce: Samantha Power.