News / USA

    Who Are Donilon, Rice and Power?

    From left: Tom Donilon, Susan Rice, Samantha Power
    From left: Tom Donilon, Susan Rice, Samantha Power
    Ralph Eckhardt
    National Security Adviser Tom Donilon speaks during the daily news briefing at the White House in Washington, Thursday, May 17, 2012.National Security Adviser Tom Donilon speaks during the daily news briefing at the White House in Washington, Thursday, May 17, 2012.
    x
    National Security Adviser Tom Donilon speaks during the daily news briefing at the White House in Washington, Thursday, May 17, 2012.
    National Security Adviser Tom Donilon speaks during the daily news briefing at the White House in Washington, Thursday, May 17, 2012.
    Thomas E. Donilon, Outgoing National Security Adviser

    Fifty-eight-year-old Tom Donilon has been a key foreign policy adviser to President Barack Obama since helping the administration transition team at the State Department following the 2008 election. He was named deputy to National Security Adviser James Jones when Mr. Obama took office, and succeeded Jones in the top spot in October 2010.

    He has overseen a foreign policy that put increased emphasis on the U.S. relationship with Asia, played key roles in counterterrorism strategy, including the death of Osama bin Laden, and in managing U.S. ties with Russia.

    Donilon served as assistant secretary of state for public affairs from 1993-1996, during former president Bill Clinton's administration. Later, he worked as executive vice president for law and policy at the federally chartered mortgage finance company Fannie Mae, and as a registered lobbyist from 1999 through 2005.

    Donilon graduated from the Catholic University of America and received a law degree from the University of Virginia. His wife, Catherine M. Russell, is chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden's wife, Jill. His brother Mike is counselor to the vice president.

    Watch related video by VOA's Margaret Besheer:

    Susan Rice, Trusted Adviser but Controversial Figurei
    X
    June 06, 2013 6:44 PM
    The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, will become the president's national security adviser. She will have the ear of the president despite the fact that opposition in Congress earlier this year derailed her chance to become secretary of state. She was caught in the battle between the White House and Capitol Hill Republicans over the September attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. VOA United Nations correspondent Margaret Besheer has more on this controversial figure.

    U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice votes to tighten sanctions on North Korea at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, March 7, 2013.U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice votes to tighten sanctions on North Korea at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, March 7, 2013.
    x
    U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice votes to tighten sanctions on North Korea at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, March 7, 2013.
    U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice votes to tighten sanctions on North Korea at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, March 7, 2013.
    Susan E. Rice, National Security Adviser-Designate

    Forty-eight-year-old Susan Rice has been U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations since President Obama took office.

    She has been a lightning rod for Republican criticism over faulty explanations for the attack last year that killed four Americans in Benghazi, Libya. Rice said in television interviews the attacks were spontaneous, which was proven incorrect.

    Rice was mentioned as a possible replacement for retiring Secretary of State Hillary Clinton after President Obama's November re-election. But following ongoing controversy related to the September 2012 Benghazi attack she withdrew her name from consideration, saying that if nominated the Senate "confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive, and costly." The post  of national security adviser does not require Senate confirmation.

    Rice served in the Clinton administration in several capacities; at the National Security Council, as director for international organizations and peacekeeping and as special assistant to the president and senior director for African affairs.

    In the 1980s, Rice was a foreign policy aide to Michael Dukakis during his failed 1988 presidential election campaign.

    Rice graduated from Stanford University and was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to attend New College in Oxford, England, where she earned a doctorate in 1990.



    Samantha Power receives an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree during Brown University's 239th Commencement in Providence, R.I., May 27, 2007Samantha Power receives an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree during Brown University's 239th Commencement in Providence, R.I., May 27, 2007
    x
    Samantha Power receives an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree during Brown University's 239th Commencement in Providence, R.I., May 27, 2007
    Samantha Power receives an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree during Brown University's 239th Commencement in Providence, R.I., May 27, 2007
    Samantha Power, UN Ambassador Nominee

    Irish-born 42-year-old Samantha Power is a human-rights expert and former White House adviser.

    She worked as a foreign-policy adviser for Mr. Obama when he was a U.S. senator and worked on his campaign team in 2008. She stepped down before the election following disclosure of her "off-the-record" critique of Hillary Clinton, who was then Mr. Obama's chief opponent for the presidential nomination, as "a monster."

    Power joined the State Department transition team in 2008 and was later named special assistant to President Obama and senior director for multilateral affairs and human rights on the National Security Council.  She left the administration in March of this year.

    Power won a Pulitzer Prize in 2003 for her book, A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, which examined U.S. foreign policy on genocide in the 20th century. She has taught at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government and worked as a journalist, reporting on the war in the Balkans from 1993-96.

    Power came to the United States with her family when she was nine years old. She is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School.

    You May Like

    Republicans Struggle With Reality of Trump Nomination

    Despite calls for unity by presumptive presidential nominee, analysts see inevitable fragmentation of party ahead of November election and beyond

    Nielsen's, Sina Weibo Team Up for Closer Look at Chinese Social Media

    US-based rating agency reaches deal with China's Twitter-like service to gauge marketing effectiveness on platform which has more than 200 million users

    Despite Cease-fire, Myanmar Landmine Scourge Goes Unaddressed

    Myanmar has third-highest mine casualty rate in the world, according to Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor, which says between 1999 to 2014 it recorded 3,745 casualties, 396 of whom died

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limitedi
    X
    Katie Arnold
    May 04, 2016 12:31 PM
    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora