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Susan Rice Leaves the UN as Samantha Power Is to Be Nominated

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Susan E. Rice, the United States ambassador to the United Nations and a member of President Obama’s Cabinet, will become the country’s national security adviser, replacing Tom Donilon, 58, who has resigned, as expected. Rice’s new position will not require approval from the Senate. Obama will announce that Samantha Power, 42, is to be nominated to take Rice’s place at the UN. Power is a genocide expert and until this winter worked at the White House as a former special assistant to the president and senior director for multilateral affairs and human rights.

Susan Rice, US ambassador to the UN
Susan Rice, US ambassador to the UN.

Since Rice, 48, won unanimous confirmation by the Senate in 2009 to become ambassador to the UN. There, she helped impose stiff sanctions against Iran and North Korea to prevent their development and use of nuclear weapons; supported the controversial NATO intervention in Libya; provided backing on the referendum for the independence of South Sudan, the UN’s newest member nation; and strove for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people through the Human Rights Council and other UN bodies.

Rice, who is known for not mincing words, also clashed with the Russian ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, over Western efforts to sanction Syria to end the bloodshed from the civil war. No resolutions were ever passed to help end the conflict under Rice’s tenure. She also landed in a nest of controversy when she spoke on a television news program about the deadly attack by terrorists on the US embassy in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012. The information she relayed to the public turned out to be flawed.

Before her post at the UN, Rice was a senior adviser for National Security Affairs on Obama’s first presidential campaign. From 2002 to 2009, she was a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, in Washington, where she focused on US foreign policy, transnational security threats, weak states, global poverty and development.

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Dulcie Leimbach is a co-founder, with Barbara Crossette, of PassBlue. For PassBlue and other publications, Leimbach has reported from New York and overseas from West Africa (Burkina Faso and Mali) and from Europe (Scotland, Sicily, Vienna, Budapest, Kyiv, Armenia, Iceland and The Hague). She has provided commentary on the UN for BBC World Radio, ARD German TV and Radio, NHK’s English channel, Background Briefing with Ian Masters/KPFK Radio in Los Angeles and the Foreign Press Association.

Previously, she was an editor for the Coalition for the UN Convention Against Corruption; from 2008 to 2011, she was the publications director of the United Nations Association of the USA. Before UNA, Leimbach was an editor at The New York Times for more than 20 years, editing and writing for most sections of the paper, including the Magazine, Book Review and Op-Ed. She began her reporting career in small-town papers in San Diego, Calif., and Boulder, Colo., graduating to the Rocky Mountain News in Denver and then working at The Times. Leimbach has been a fellow at the CUNY Graduate Center’s Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies as well as at Yaddo, the artists’ colony in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.; taught news reporting at Hofstra University; and guest-lectured at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the CUNY Journalism School. She graduated from the University of Colorado and has an M.F.A. in writing from Warren Wilson College in North Carolina. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.

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