Biden names former UN ambassador Samantha Power to top foreign aid post

Former UN Ambassador tapped as the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Ron Kampeas, JTA ,

(Mark Neiman (GPO)

Joe Biden named Samantha Power, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, to a top foreign aid post on Wednesday.

Power — notable during her U.N. tenure in part because of her role in allowing through an anti-Israel resolution at the tail end of the Obama administration — was tapped as the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development. Biden elevated her position to include a seat on the National Security Council.

Biden has said he wants to restore the assistance to the Palestinian Authority, part of it administered through USAID, that Trump all but eliminated.

Some groups applauded Biden’s choice of Power to lead USAID.

“Congratulations to @SamanthaJPower, a leading voice for principled American engagement in the world, on her nomination as the next @USAID Administrator,” said the American Jewish Committee, a group that had vigorously criticized the 2016 U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israel’s communities in Judea and Samaria. “We wish her every success in her new role.”

Also praising the pick was Liz Schrayer, the president of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, a foreign aid advocacy group that has close ties with the Israel lobby AIPAC, as well as J Street, a liberal Jewish Middle East policy group, Dan Shapiro, Obama’s last ambassador to Israel, and Halie Soifer, a onetime policy adviser to Power who now leads the Jewish Democratic Council of America. Soifer posted photos of Power in Israel on her Twitter feed.

Conservative groups are expected to pan the pick, though they had yet to pronounce by Wednesday evening.