U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he would consider selecting Goldman Sachs executive and former White House adviser Dina Powell as the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
Trump spoke to reporters at the White House before departing for an event in Iowa, hours after announcing that current U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley would step down at the end of the year. He said Haley would help him make the final pick for her replacement.
Trump said controversial U.S. ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, was not on the short list but that he was willing to consider him.
later on Tuesday, Trump's eldest daughter Ivanka Trump, who is a senior adviser to her father, ruled herself out of consideration in a Twitter post. Trump had said she would be "incredible" in the role and acknowledged he would be accused of nepotism if he nominated her.
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Powell served in the first year of the Trump administration as the Deputy National Security Adviser for strategy, and was a key player in diplomatic efforts in the Middle East. She was a high-ranking official in the State Department of the previous Republican president, George W. Bush, according to the Harvard Kennedy School, where she is a senior fellow.
Powell was born in Cairo, Egypt, and immigrated to the United States with her family as a child. She is fluent in Arabic, and under the Bush administration she served as the State Department's assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs, a role in which she often represented the administration in front of the Arab world and worked to improve Washington's standing in Arab public opinion.
In the Bush administration, Powell drew praise from the president – who appointed her before the age of 30 to be his personnel director in the White House. She also drew praise from then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who has called her "one of the most capable people I know," adding, "she did crucial work for me at the State Department where we were trying to be more effective in outreach to the Muslim world."
After leaving the State Department, Powell went to work for Goldman Sachs. According to a report in Politico, however, she maintained close ties to officials in the White House during the Obama era, including President Barack Obama's senior adviser Valerie Jarrett. Her work as the head of the international bank's international charity and philanthropy arm, the Goldman Sachs Foundation, has won praise from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.