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2018 Tanner Lectures / Speaker + Commentator Bios


Samantha Power

AMBASSADOR SAMANTHA POWER is the Anna Lindh Professor of the Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School and Professor of Practice at Harvard Law School.

From 2013 to 2017 Power served as the 28th U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, as well as a member of President Obama’s cabinet. In this role, Power became the public face of U.S. opposition to Russian aggression in Ukraine and Syria, negotiated the toughest sanctions in a generation against North Korea, lobbied to secure the release of political prisoners, helped build new international law to cripple ISIL’s financial networks, and supported President Obama’s pathbreaking actions to end the Ebola crisis.

From 2009 to 2013, Power served on the National Security Council as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights, where she focused on issues including atrocity prevention; UN reform; LGBT and women’s rights; the protection of religious minorities; and the prevention of human trafficking. 

Before joining the U.S. government, Power was the founding executive director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Kennedy School, a columnist for TIME, and a National Magazine Award-winning contributor to the Atlantic, the New Yorker, and the New York Review of Books.

Power’s book, “A Problem from Hell”: America and the Age of Genocidewon the 2003 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Power is also author of the New York Times bestseller Chasing the Flame: Sergio Vieira de Melloand the Fight to Save the World (2008) and the editor, with Derek Chollet, of The Unquiet American: Richard Holbrooke in the World (2011). She began her career as a journalist, reporting from places such as Bosnia, East Timor, Kosovo, Rwanda, Sudan, and Zimbabwe and has twice been named to Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” list.

Power earned a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.




MICHAEL BLAKE is a Professor of Philosophy, Public Policy, and Governance at the University of Washington.  Until 2016, he was the Director of the UW's Program on Values in Society. He received his bachelor degree in Philosophy and Economics from the University of Toronto, and a PhD from Stanford University. He obtained some legal training at Yale Law School, before running away to become a philosopher.  Blake is the author of Justice and Foreign Policy (Oxford, 2013) and Debating Brain Drain: May States Restrict Emigration? (with Gillian Brock; Oxford, 2014).  He is currently writing a book on the moral foundations of migration policy, tentatively called Justice, Migration, and Mercy.  He is jointly appointed to the Department of Philosophy and to the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance. * Responding at the Discussion Seminar on Friday, March 2 at 9:30am.

Robert keohane

ROBERT O. KEOHANE (PhD Harvard 1966) is Professor of Public and International Affairs (Emeritus) in the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. He has served as Editor of International Organization and as President of the International Studies Association and the American Political Science Association.  He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Political and Social Science, the American Philosophical Society, and the National Academy of Sciences; and he is a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy. He has been a recipient of the Balzan Prize: International Relations: History Theory, 2016; the James Madison Award, American Political Science Association, 2014, for lifetime achievement; the Centennial Medal, Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, 2012; the Skytte Prize from the Johan Skytte Foundation, Uppsala Sweden, 2005; the Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order, 1989, and two honorary doctorates. Keohane's publications include Power and Interdependence (with Joseph S. Nye, Jr., originally published in 1977), After Hegemony: Cooperation and Discord in the World Political Economy (1984), Designing Social Inquiry (with Gary King and Sidney Verba, 1994), and Power and Governance in a Partially Globalized World (2002). His current work focuses on the international and comparative politics of climate change policy. * Responding to Lecture 2 on Thursday, March 1 at 5pm. 

Elisa Massimino

ELISA MASSIMINO is President and CEO of Human Rights First, one of the nation’s leading human rights advocacy organizations with offices in Washington, New York City, Houston, and Los Angeles. Established in 1978, Human Rights First’s mission is to ensure that the United States is a global leader on human rights. The organization works in the United States and abroad to promote respect for human rights and the rule of law. Massimino joined Human Rights First as a staff attorney in 1991 to help establish the D.C. office. Previously, Massimino was a litigator at the law firm of Hogan & Hartson, where she was pro bono counsel in many human rights cases. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Supreme Court Bar. She holds a law degree from the University of Michigan, a Master of Arts in philosophy from Johns Hopkins University, and is a graduate of Trinity University. * Responding at the Discussion Seminar on Friday, March 2 at 9:30am.

Rebecca Solnit

A product of the California public education system from kindergarten to graduate school, REBECCA SOLNIT is a columnist at Harper's, a frequent contributor to the Guardian, and the author of twenty books. She is returning to Stanford as a visiting writer this year, and joined the board of the climate-policy group Oil Change International last year.  (Photo by Adrian Mendoza) * Responding to Lecture 1 on Wednesday, February 28 at 5pm.