Dina Powell did not waste much time converting her experience as a top Trump administration national security adviser into a lucrative job at Goldman Sachs.
Powell left her job as deputy national security adviser to President Donald Trump in mid-January. In an internal memo first reported by Bloomberg’s Dakin Campbell and Jennifer Jacobs Tuesday, Goldman Sachs announced that Powell would be returning to the Wall Street firm as a member of its management committee. Her job will be to foster Goldman’s relationships with “sovereign clients,” Bloomberg reported.
That will mean that Powell will be working with foreign governments and their investment funds, many of whom she would have likely dealt with in her role as a White House foreign policy adviser.
Here’s how Bloomberg describes her role in the Trump administration:
While in Washington, she was criticized at times by the nationalist faction in Trump’s base of support, including then-chief strategist Steve Bannon, a fellow Goldman alum who left the White House last year to return briefly to the right-wing Breitbart website. She was closer with Trump’s daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner, who’s leading efforts to broker a deal to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Kushner said when Powell’s departure was announced that she would “continue to play a key role in our peace efforts.”
Powell was involved in the Trump administration’s first National Security Strategy, released in December. She also helped orchestrate the president’s foreign trips and was frequently the only woman in U.S. delegations at high-profile meetings with foreign leaders.
So now she has gone from being one of the chief globalists in the Trump White House to being one of the chief globalists on Wall Street.
The memo announcing Powell’s return was signed by CEO Lloyd Blankfein and co-presidents David Solomon and Harvey Schwartz, an indication of just how big of a role she is taking at the firm.
Powell’s new position with Goldman is substantially more prestigious–and likely more lucrative–than her earlier roles at the firm. Powell joined Goldman in 2007 to run the bank’s “10,000 Women” initiative, a scheme to promote female entreprenuers and bolster Goldman’s public image. She went on to head other #WokeWallStreet Goldman units called the “Impact Investing” and the “Environmental Markets” groups, which Goldman says “creates market-based opportunities and solutions to drive sustainable economic development and environmental progress.” She became a partner in 2010 and also served as president of the Goldman Sachs Foundation, the firm’s philanthropic arm.
While Powell was a polarizing personality in the Trump administraiton, she was widely admired on Wall Street, particularly by young women. One young woman at Goldman described Powell in 2010 as “everything I ever wanted to be.”
This is hardly Powell’s first time jumping from government to Goldman. Prior to landing that first gig at Goldman, Powell was a Bush administration official. She held the role of assistant secretary of state for Educational and Cultural Affairs and deputy undersecretary of Public Affairs and Public Diplomacy. She also worked in the White House.
Powell was born Dina Habib in Cairo, Egypt in 1973 to a Coptic Christian family. When she was a small child, her family emigrated to Dallas, Texas.