Another Goldman Executive Is Said to Be Going to Trump Administration

Dina Powell
Michael Kovac | Getty Images | Vanity Fair
Dina Powell

Dina H. Powell, who runs many of Goldman Sachs's philanthropic initiatives, will soon leave the company for a new role as adviser in the Trump White House, according to multiple people familiar with the matter.

Ms. Powell, a former State Department official and White House aide during the George W. Bush administration, has been in close dialogue with Ivanka Trump, the daughter of President-elect Donald J. Trump, about the presidential transition in recent weeks, according to one of the people familiar with the matter and to previously published reports.

Although Ms. Trump has a been a crucial contact for Ms. Powell, this person added, Ms. Powell's formal role is likely to be that of adviser to the president himself. Ms. Trump does not immediately plan to take a role in the White House. However, according to a person briefed on the new role, Ms. Powell will work closely with both Ms. Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, who will be a senior adviser to the president.

Ms. Powell has worked with Ms. Trump in recent weeks on developing policy proposals related to women's economic empowerment, the person briefed on the new role said.

Messages left at Ms. Powell's New York office Wednesday morning were not immediately returned, and a Goldman Sachs spokesman could not comment on the details of her anticipated departure. A spokeswoman for the president-elect did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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The expected hiring of Ms. Powell, 42, by the incoming administration is the latest indication of the president-elect's affinity for alumni of Goldman Sachs. Mr. Trump's nominee for Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, is a former Goldman trader, and his appointee to run the National Economic Council, Gary D. Cohn, was Goldman's longtime president and chief operating officer. Mr. Trump's chief strategist, the media baron Stephen K. Bannon, was once an investment banker at the Wall Street firm.

Ms. Powell is the daughter of an Egyptian army captain and grew up in Texas after moving to the United States as a child. She is said to be close with Mr. Cohn. She also has a range of relationships on both sides of the political aisle, having worked as a congressional staff member roughly two decades ago, when Mike Pence, the vice president-elect, was a member of the House. She is close to Condoleezza Rice, the former secretary of state, from her years working in the White House under George W. Bush.

Goldman veterans have a long history of performing public service after leaving the company, a trend that has sparked the nickname "Government Sachs." Henry M. Paulson Jr., who was chairman and chief executive of Goldman for eight years until 2006, served as Treasury secretary from 2006 to 2009, handling the onset of the financial crisis. His onetime co-chief executive, Jon S. Corzine, was a senator and, later, the governor of New Jersey. Robert E. Rubin, who also once served as a co-chairman of Goldman, ran the National Economic Council when it was established by the Clinton administration in 1993; he was named Treasury secretary two years later.

Other Goldman alumni, the vast majority of them men, have gone on to play important roles in the Federal Reserve bank system, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and the European Central Bank, among other places.

Relations between the incoming Trump administration and Goldman, however, have not been entirely smooth. Early in September, the company banned its partners from donating money to the Trump campaign, citing concerns about pay-to-play rules. (Those rules could have prevented Goldman from doing business with the State of Indiana, where Mr. Trump's running mate, Mr. Pence, was the sitting governor.)

Then, shortly before the election, the Trump campaign ran a television ad that featured Goldman's chief executive, Lloyd C. Blankfein, in a negative light.

Ms. Powell spent a decade at Goldman and was named a partner there in 2010. She played crucial roles in Goldman's corporate philanthropic efforts, including helping to establish 10,000 Women, a program that works with female entrepreneurs around the world.