Nikki Haley is out as UN Ambassador, and Dina Powell is at the top of President Donald Trump’s short-list to replace her.
Yesterday we profiled another candidate for the position, Richard Grenell, who currently serves as Ambassador to Germany. While Trump did reference Grenell as a potential replacement, he didn’t make the short list – Trump signaled he would prefer to keep him in his current position.
On the other hand, Trump specifically named Dina Powell. She previously served as Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategy for the Trump administration, but announced her departure last December, and left in early 2018. When Powell took the position, she indicated that she’d be serving for only about a year. She returned to her former employer Goldman Sachs following her departure. While she’s a name you probably haven’t heard much of previously, you’re about to hear a lot about her soon.
And on that note – here are five quick facts you need to know about Dina Powell.
Her Professional Life Began in Politics: Powell’s career began as a legislative assistant to two Texas State Senators, O.H. “Ike” Harris and Jerry E. Patterson, who she worked for as an undergraduate student at the University of Texas at Austin. She later interned for Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson in Washington D.C., and opted to work for House majority leader Dick Armey instead of attending law school.
She’s Young and Accomplished: Currently 45 (which in the context of politics is considered young), she was the youngest person in history to become a White House personnel director in the Bush administration, where she managed a team of 35 and oversaw the hiring of over 4,000 others. She also served as the Director of Congressional Affairs for the RNC when Bush was running for President.
She’s an Immigrant: Powell’s family immigrated from Egypt to Dallas, Texas, when she was only four years old. Having attended a Catholic school for girls growing up, Powell’s family was part of Egypt’s Christian minority.
Ivanka Brought Her to The Trump Administration: Powell was tapped to join the Trump administration by Ivanka Trump in January 2017. Powell had been working on women’s empowerment issues before moving into her role in the Trump administration, which appealed to Ivanka.
Some Conservatives Don’t Like Her: Tucker Carlson says that Powell, while likable, has “worked on behalf of every idea Trump ran against in his 2016 campaign.” He’s also criticized her work at Goldman Sachs (which has partnered with the Clinton Foundation), and has shared the stage with Bill Clinton before at Clinton Global Initiative events.
Time will tell if she steps into the vacant position.