|Dina Habib Powell|
|Deputy National Security Advisor|
March 15, 2017
Serving with K.T. McFarland
|Preceded by||Ben Rhodes|
|Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs|
July 11, 2005 – June 7, 2007
|President||George W. Bush|
|Preceded by||Patricia Harrison|
|Succeeded by||Goli Ameri|
1973 (age 43–44)
|Spouse(s)||Richard C. Powell|
|Education||University of Texas, Austin (BA)|
Dina Habib Powell (born 1973) is an Egyptian-American business executive, philanthropist and U.S. policymaker. She is the current U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategy to President Donald Trump.
Before being promoted to Deputy National Security Advisor, Powell served in the Trump administration as an Assistant to the President and Senior Counselor for Economic Initiatives. Powell worked at Goldman Sachs from 2007 through 2016 and was president of the Goldman Sachs Foundation.
Powell previously served in the George W. Bush administration as Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, Deputy Undersecretary of State for Public Affairs and Public Diplomacy, and an Assistant to the President for Presidential Personnel.
Dina Habib was born in Cairo, Egypt to a middle-class, Coptic Christian family. Her father, who was a captain in the Egyptian Army, and her mother, who had attended American University in Cairo, wanted the best for their daughters. Consequently, she came to the United States with her family when she was four years and knew no English.
The Habib family settled in Dallas, Texas, where they had relatives among the Coptic community there; the parents ran a convenience store. While Dina quickly learned English at school, her family insisted that she be raised with Egyptian culture and language as well. As a result she is fluent in Arabic. Of her parents' actions, she later said, "I so desperately wanted a turkey and cheese sandwich with potato chips, and instead I always got grape leaves and hummus and falafel, not even in a cool brown paper bag. And now, of course, I appreciate so much that I did." She attended the noted prep school for girls Ursuline Academy of Dallas, from which she graduated in 1991.
She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she enrolled in the Liberal Arts Plan I honors program, studying a mixture of humanities, sociology, political science, and criminology. She performed community service both as part of her program and her membership in the Delta Delta Delta sorority.
She helped pay for school by working as a legislative assistant for two Republican members of the Texas State Senate: O.H. "Ike" Harris and Jerry E. Patterson. With them, she worked on a number of policy matters, including juvenile justice reform. She had grown up in a family that strongly identified with the Republican Party and greatly admired Ronald Reagan. She maintained the same views, later recalling that "... when I started to work with Republicans I realised that I agree with the views of personal empowerment, of less government involvement, of having the ability to talk about things without the government necessarily being involved. And on the economic side I'm definitely a believer that people should spend more of their money and spend it the way they think so and invest it wisely."
For her honors thesis, she wrote about the value of mentoring on juvenile delinquents. She graduated from Texas with honors with a bachelors degree in Humanities from the College of Liberal Arts in 1995.
Habib had applied to, and been accepted by, a law school. However, she received an offer of an internship with the U.S. Senator from Texas, Kay Bailey Hutchison. Much to the consternation of her parents, who wanted her to become an engineer, doctor, or lawyer, she deferred the school and accepted the internship. This began a chain of political and governmental positions that would span a decade and she never did study law.
After the internship concluded, she took a job with Dick Armey, the Republican Majority Leader in the U.S. House of Representatives. Armey later said, "We immediately recognized her brains and her ability, and then her charm, and finally, I think somebody noticed she was gorgeous, too." Armey's was one among a number of remarks that various governmental officials have made regarding not just her professional abilities but also her physical attractiveness.
The couple has two daughters born in 2002 and 2006.
While working at the RNC, Powell was spotted by Clay Johnson III, who would become in charge of hiring at the beginning of the George W. Bush administration. He thusly took her on as his deputy.
Beginning in January 2003, Johnson moved up and elsewhere in the administration and Powell took on his position, serving as the Assistant to the President for Presidential Personnel, a senior staff member at the White House. In this role, she was responsible for assisting the President on the appointments of the cabinet, subcabinet and ambassadorial positions across the U.S. Government. She had a staff of 35 reporting to her and, especially once the second term of the Bush presidency began in January 2005, was part of hiring some 4,000 people. She participated in some of the recommendations process as well as processing the applications, and was part of the inner circle of knowledge regarding who would be hired along with Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and political mind Karl Rove. At age 29, she was the youngest person ever to hold this position. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez, a businessman whom Powell recruited, said: "In a nutshell, Dina Powell is probably one of the most talented people I've ever met in my life."
In March 2005, Powell received a new assignment, which included becoming an ambassador of sorts to the Arabic-speaking world. News of the appointment landed on the front page of Al-Ahram made her a celebrity in Egypt. This position was that Powell became, and subsequently served as Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs from July 11, 2005, through June 6, 2007. Powell was also designated by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to the office of Deputy Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. In addition, Powell led the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
In 2007, she left the White House and government service, saying "It's the right time for me and my family." She had been the highest-ranking Arab-American in the Bush administration. Secretary Rice said, "I'm really sorry to lose her. She is fantastic. She had so many ideas. There are people who have ideas but can't execute them. She really executed them."
Powell joined Goldman Sachs in 2007 as a managing director and was named partner in 2010. Powell oversaw the firm’s impact investing business and served as the president of the Goldman Sachs Foundation beginning in 2010, in addition to her responsibilities as global head of the Office of Corporate Engagement and a member of the Goldman Sachs Partnership Committee.
In her role as president of the Goldman Sachs Foundation, Powell led one of the world’s largest corporate foundations with over $500 million in assets. Powell helped build and was responsible for all the Foundation’s initiatives supporting and developing entrepreneurs around the world, including 10,000 Women and 10,000 Small Businesses. 10,000 Women provides women entrepreneurs in developing countries with business education, access to capital and mentors. Under Powell, Goldman Sachs partnered with International Finance Corporation and Overseas Private Investment Corporation to raise 600 million dollars, to provide access to capital for more than 100,000 women worldwide. Goldman's 10,000 Small Businesses, which was co-chaired by Lloyd Blankfein, Warren Buffett, Michael Bloomberg and Michael Porter of Harvard Business School, supports the growth and expansion of small business in the U.S. and UK.
Powell also led Goldman Sachs Gives, a donor-advised fund through which the firm's current and retired partners can recommend grants in support of communities around the world. Goldman Sachs Gives was established in 2007 and structured as a vehicle to consolidate Goldman Sachs partners’ charitable giving.
Durfgin her time at Goldman Sachs, Powell joined the boards of directors or trustees of the Harvard Business School's Social Enterprise Initiative, the American University in Cairo, the Center for Global Development, and the Nightingale-Bamford School. Dina Habib Powell is listed as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the Trilateral Commission.
Starting January 20, 2017, Powell served as Senior Advisor to the President for Entrepreneurship, Economic Growth and the Empowerment of Women.
Powell had been advising Ivanka Trump during the transition period, particularly with regard to the empowerment of women and girls and female entrepreneurship. She was visible outside that scope when she was part of a meeting between the chief executive and Saudi defense minister Mohammed bin Salman.
On March 15, 2017, Powell was promoted to the post of Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategy. There she was seen as a possible rival to the existing Deputy, former commentator K. T. McFarland.
Dina Habib Powell was selected as one of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders.
She received the Outstanding Young Texas Ex Award in 2006.
In 2007, Powell was presented with an American by Choice Award during a special naturalization ceremony performed by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice; the award recognizes outstanding achievements of naturalized U.S. citizens.
|Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs
Title last held byJohn Podesta
as Counselor to the President
|Senior Counselor to the President for Economic Initiatives
January 20, 2017–March 15, 2017
Served alongside: Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway
Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway