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Former U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power Headlines 2019 Borah Symposium

September 16, 2019

MOSCOW, Idaho — Sept. 16, 2019 — Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power will deliver the keynote address at the 2019 University of Idaho Borah Symposium. This year’s event, scheduled for Oct. 7-9 on the U of I campus, will feature public lectures on the intersection of climate and conflict.

Power served as a senior advisor and special assistant to President Barack Obama. During her tenure, her office focused on issues such as UN reform, women’s and LGBT rights, religious freedom, refugees, human trafficking and democracy. In 2016, Forbes listed her as the 41st most powerful woman in the world. She won a Pulitzer Prize in 2003 for her first book “A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide,” and recently published her biography, “The Education of an Idealist.”

Held annually since 1948, the Borah Symposium is dedicated to exploring new ideas for overcoming the obstacles to world peace. It is named in honor of former Idaho U.S. Sen. William Borah.

“The University of Idaho’s Borah Symposium is devoted to understanding the causes of war and the conditions for establishing a lasting peace,” said Florian Justwan, chair of the Borah Foundation Committee and assistant professor in the Department of Politics and Philosophy. “Few contemporary issues have larger effects on these outcomes than climate change.”

A complete schedule of the 2019 Borah Symposium is as follows:

  • 4 p.m. Monday, Oct. 7: Plenary Address on Climate and Conflict, International Ballroom, Bruce M. Pitman Center – Presented by Sherri Goodman, senior strategist at the Center for Climate and Security and chair of the Board of the Council on Strategic Risks
  • 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 8: “Considerations on the U.S. Navy and Climate Change in the Arctic” (Co-sponsored by the Malcolm M. Renfrew Interdisciplinary Colloquium), Vandal Ballroom, Bruce M. Pitman Center – Presented by Capt. Shaun C. McAndrew, commanding officer of the U of I-Washington State University Navy ROTC detachment
  • 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 8: “Food, Climate and Conflict,” International Ballroom, Bruce M. Pitman Center - Presented by Ertharin Cousin, former executive director for the UN World Food Programme
  • 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9: Keynote Address on Climate and Conflict, International Ballroom, Bruce M. Pitman Center – Presented by Samantha Power, former U.S. ambassador to the UN.

“While the issue of climate change has been at the center of many international summits over the past few years, the substantial effect of the changing climate on global conflict has not received enough public attention,” Justwan said. “This year’s symposium will highlight a number of different mechanisms by which climate change fuels conflict both within and across countries.”

More information about the 2019 Borah Symposium is available at

Media Contacts

Florian Justwan
Assistant Professor of Political Science
College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences

Kathy Foss
Marketing and Communications Manager
College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power

About the University of Idaho

The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 12,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky Conference. Learn more at