As a twenty-three-year old Yale graduate, Samantha Power made her way to Bosnia in 1993. The Irish-born immigrant to the US had been following the war for some time. An internship under veteran diplomat Morton Abramowitz at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace had morphed into a long-term interest in the Balkans. For a journalist trying to make a name for herself, Bosnia provided both a thrill but also a career opening. In an unusually candid memoir titled, The Education of an Idealist, Power charts her long journey from Dublin to the White House. Power’s experience in the war zone would inadvertently lead years later to a cabinet role.Writing dispatches from the Bosnian capital, Power got a taste of the longest siege in modern history. Her frequent travels to Sarajevo provided a glimpse into the soul of the city and the resilience of its citizens. The time spent in Bosnia “deepened (her) understanding of American power.” At Harvard Law School, Power sought to place the genocide perpetrated by Bosnian Serbs against the country’s Muslim population into a historical context. What began as a paper on how American policymakers responded to previous genocides turned into a five-year project culminating in the publication of “A Problem from Hell”: America and the Age of Genocide. Initially rejected by major American publishers, the book went on to receive a Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction in 2003. The book paved her way to a stint in the office of the junior senator from Illinois. Her work on Senator Barack Obama’s presidential campaign led to a senior position at the National Security Council and then to the coveted post of US Ambassador to the UN. In A Problem from Hell, Power’s description of what happened in Bosnia from 1992 to 1995 remains a powerful telling of the crime in Europe at the end of the 20th century.At the National Security Council, Power pushed for the establishment of Atrocities Prevention Board, the purpose of which was to react to early warnings on gross human rights violations. In her capacity as an Obama administration official, Power visited Srebrenica on the 15th anniversary of the genocide in 2010. In 2015, as US Ambassador to the UN, Power pushed for a Security Council resolution marking the 20th anniversary of Srebrenica. The resolution was vetoed by Russia following a plea by Serbia’s then-president Tomislav Nikolic.Power’s Bosnia experience was reflected in her support for US military intervention in Libya in 2011. When Bashar Assad’s use of chemical weapons in August 2013 crossed President Barack Obama’s own redline, the failure of the president to follow through on his threat to respond with military force placed Power in a bind. To support the president or to remain faithful to the policies she had long advocated and resign? Critics would argue that by opting to stay on in the administration with a policy she disagreed and spent her academic life criticizing, politics had tamed the humanitarian activist in Power. Nevertheless, the perspective that she brought to the White House and the UN as a journalist and genocide scholar from her days in Bosnia was significant.History is probably not done with Samantha Power. Currently a professor at Harvard, Power is a potential candidate for consideration for National Security Advisor or Secretary of State in one of the next Democratic administrations.The writer is associate professor at the Faculty of Political Science at the University of Sarajevo.