Advertisement Close

Egyptian American Goldman Sachs Executive, Dina Habib Powell, to Join Trump Administration

posted on: Jan 13, 2017

Dina Habib Powell. Image Credit: American Enterprise Institute

BY: Nisreen Eadeh/Staff Writer

Dina Habib Powell, president of the Goldman Sachs foundation, has accepted a senior role focused on entrepreneurship, economic growth, and women’s empowerment in the Trump administration. Two sources close to Powell told Politico that Powell is expected to work closely with President-elect Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, to help the administration form ties with women and corporate America.

Powell, 43, emigrated to Dallas, Texas with her parents from Cairo, Egypt when she was only four years old. Her career in politics started as a student at the University of Texas, where she interned at the office of then-Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, a Republican.

At 29, Powell became the youngest-ever assistant to the president for presidential personnel in Bush’s White House. She was instrumental in helping the administration make decisions on appointments.

Dina Powell, George W. Bush in the Oval Office. Image Credit: Heavy

By 2005, Powell climbed ranks to the State Department, where she was assistant secretary of state for Educational and Cultural Affairs and deputy undersecretary of Public Affairs and Public Diplomacy. She was a “key voice” for the Bush administration in the Arab world. Congresswoman Liz Cheney said Powell was valued for her Arabic-language skills, ability to “defuse misperceptions” and defend American policy at length in Middle Eastern countries.

Powell’s partnerships go beyond the Republican Party, however. She is admired by Democrats, as well, for her ability to connect corporate America to governments for disaster relief. She has a reputation as an intelligent leader for women’s initiatives. During her time with the Bush administration, Powell developed the Fortune/US State Department Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership, which promotes women leaders with the Fortune community.

Since moving to Goldman Sachs in 2007, Powell has made women in business her priority. During her tenure, she oversaw the 10,000 Women and 10,000 Small Businesses initiatives. As president of the Goldman Sachs Foundation, Powell has raised over $600 million to provide capital for more than 100,000 women worldwide with International Finance Corporation and Overseas Private Investment Corporation. While making a speech at Goldman Sachs in 2014, Hillary Clinton admired Powell and her strategies to empower women through business.

Powell is the fourth Goldman Sachs executive to join the Trump administration. She will work closely with Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, whom Powell became acquainted with last year. Kushner, an American leader in the Israeli-settlements movement, has been offered a senior advising role already in the White House. Ivanka Trump has not been offered a role as of yet, but is expected to participate heavily in her father’s administration.

The Egyptian American business executive offers hope for inclusion of minority voices in the Trump administration. Condoleezza Rice praised Powell as a cultural ambassador, and Arianna Huffington, founder of the left-leaning news website Huffington Post, said the administration would be lucky to have Powell on their team.