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Samantha Power closer to becoming US ambassador to United Nations

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee backed Samantha Power, who is expected to receive wider Senate support for her nomination as US ambassador to the UN.

Samantha PowerEnlarge
Samantha Power, nominee to become US representative to the United Nations, testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on July 17, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Win McNamee/AFP/Getty Images)

Samantha Power took another step on Tuesday toward becoming the new United States ambassador to the United Nations.

She received nearly unanimous support from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and is expected to receive similar backing from a full Senate vote, Reuters reported.

The 42-year-old Harvard professor and author is President Barack Obama's nominee to replace Susan Rice as the 28th US ambassador to the UN.

She’s a sometimes divisive figure for her opinions, but is now winning praise for her convictions on human rights.

Power called the UN Security Council’s inaction in Syria a “disgrace,” and promised to hold Venezuela’s “repressive” government to task.

Last week, she slammed the UN’s “unacceptable bias” against Israel, even as detractors reminded her about past statements advocating Palestinian support over the United States’ closest Mideast ally.

Power has since disavowed those comments, according to AFP.

More from GlobalPost: Is Syria Obama’s Rwanda?

She’s also a former Pulitzer Prize winner and a noted author on US foreign policy, especially when it intersects with genocide.

“The question of what the United Nations can accomplish for the world and for the United States remains a pressing one,” she once said, according to the Associated Press.

“As the most powerful and inspiring country on this earth, we have a critical role to play in insisting that the institution meets the necessities of our time. It can do so only with American leadership.”

Power has also served as foreign policy adviser to Obama, and is the founding director of Harvard’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy.

Kathy Calvin, president and CEO of the United Nations Foundation, welcomed Power’s appointment.

“Samantha Power will be a tough, passionate advocate for our nation, with a fierce moral compass,” Calvin said online.

“A close advisor to the president, she was a key influencer in the decision for the US to rejoin the Human Rights Council so that we could better stand up for our allies and direct the world’s focus to the most critical human rights challenges.”

More from GlobalPost: Obama’s historic trip to Cambodia, Myanmar

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/130723/samantha-power-us-ambassador-un-syria-israel-venezuela