The Education of an Idealist

On September 23, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power ’99 expressed both skepticism and hope for the current state of international affairs during a panel discussion at Harvard Law School about her new memoir, The Education of an Idealist.

Ambassador Power is currently teaching at Harvard as the William D. Zabel ’61 Professor of Practice in Human Rights at Harvard Law School, and the Anna Lindh Professor of the Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School.

Read about and watch the discussion on Harvard Law Today.

The event was sponsored by the Harvard Law School Library and International Legal Studies.

Photo:  Lorin Grainger

Fostering peace and democracy

Sceni photo of Tunis, Tunisia

by Brooke Davies ’21

This summer, I worked on the constitution-building team at International IDEA, an IGO that assists in democracy promotion around the world. I was placed in IDEA’s Tunis office, which was my first time in North Africa. I truly could not have asked for a more impactful, fulfilling, and challenging summer.

My team worked primarily on two projects while I was there, one in Yemen and one in Sudan. In Yemen, we assisted the UN Envoy in the ongoing peace negotiations, which included spending one week in Stockholm, Sweden, participating in a dialogue session with the parties to the internationally recognized government. My role included preparing for that session, providing legal research to the Envoy’s office, and answering questions that the parties had raised in the course of the negotiations. For our work in Sudan, I assisted the team in consulting on the political negotiations that began after President Bashir was ousted earlier this year.

Not only was I given more responsibility than I had ever expected to have, but I was working at a level that felt deeply impactful on issues unfolding in real-time. Going forward, I want to remember both all the lessons that I learned from the summer, and all the realizations I had about what I want from my own career after law school. Both have given me a greater sense of purpose, motivation, and drive as I come back to law school for my second year.

Brooke Davies, a second-year student at HLS, spent her 1L summer as a 2019 Chayes International Public Service Fellow. She worked with International IDEA in Tunis, Tunisia, on peace negotiations in the Middle East and Africa. 

Photo credit:  Brooke Davies