But the Barack comparisons are overblown. Both men have lived abroad for part of their lives. Both men are hip and “with it.” Both men have had a vertiginous ascent in the political world, sometimes criticized as unwarranted. But Ignatieff has a better cognate in America than POTUS: Samantha Power. Like Professor Power, who has recently accepted a position in the Department of State (senior director for multilateral affairs at the National Security Council, according to Hurriyet), Ignatieff served the director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. (Power was the founding executive director of the Center from 1998-2002; Ignatieff was the director from 2001-2005.) Both Power and Ignatieff have published countless articles on genocide and human rights violation in magazines like The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine. But have a somewhat self-deprecating sense of humor and openness that, sometimes, gets them in trouble with a quote-hungry subtlety-stripping media. But most importantly, both started as public intellectuals first and only entered the political world second.