United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice is set to step down to replace Tom Donilon as National Security Advisor. President Obama will nominate activist Samantha Power to replace Rice.
The appointments of Rice and Power not only represent the ascension of women to top roles on Obama’s national security team, but the rise of two officials who have made human rights a priority — at a time when the U.S. faces an agonizing decisions over Syria where President Bashar al-Assad has killed tens of thousands of civilians. Obama will make the announcement Wednesday during a Rose Garden announcement at which he will also name a replacement for Rice, 48. The U.N. ambassador had been a leading contender to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, but withdrew herself from consideration in December after Republicans sharply criticized her public statements following the Sept. 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi.
Power will have to be confirmed by the Senate, where Politico predicts GOP opposition. She is a Pulitzer Prize-winning anti-genocide activist who resigned from the Obama campaign in early 2008 after she called Hillary Clinton a “monster” during an interview with a Scottish newspaper. Power apologized profusely shortly afterwards.