Speaking at Northeastern University, Samantha Power described a very different State Department than the one she worked with when she was UN ambassador in the Obama administration.
"The talent is absolutely depleted," she said. "Many, many people have left."
She described what she believes is a more collaborative and deliberative process among Barack Obama's foreign policy team compared to Donald Trump's in times of crisis.
"We'd all say our piece and recommend what we thought should be done, and then Obama would say, 'I want to hear from the people who are sitting on the back benches. People who have actually lived in these countries, people who speak the language, what are they thinking, what are we missing.'"
The 2003 Pulitzer Prize winning author, promoting her new memoir, "The Education of an Idealist," said the need for foreign policy experts is never more important than during an international crisis like the one that played out Friday, with what she described as the assassination of Iranian General Qasem Solomoni.
"It's going to be quite hard to harden our defenses sufficiently, really, to guard against what is likely coming," she said.
As for Power's future, would she consider running for U.S. Senate if Elizabeth Warren were to get the nomination?
"I would consider lots of forms of service," she said. "I am thoroughly focused on 2020 because — I think Trump, in a second term, who would never again have to be accountable to voters, I just can't conceive of what that would look like."