White House no longer considering Dina Powell for UN ambassador

  • Powell, a Goldman Sachs executive, was being considered to replace Nikki Haley to represent the United States at the U.N. and was one of Trump's top picks for the post.
  • She had informed President Donald Trump himself about her likelihood of staying at the bank, according to a source with direct knowledge of the matter.
Dina Powell, deputy national security adviser for strategy.
Rex Features | AP Images
Dina Powell, deputy national security adviser for strategy.


President Donald Trump is no longer considering Dina Powell for the position of U.N. ambassador, according to a senior White House official.

Powell, a Goldman Sachs executive and former deputy national security advisor to President Donald Trump, had told friends that she was leaning toward staying at the firm instead of becoming the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, according to three people with direct knowledge of the matter.

She had informed President Donald Trump himself about her likelihood of staying at the bank, according to a source with direct knowledge of the matter.

Powell was being considered to succeed Nikki Haley to represent the United States at the U.N. and was one of Trump's top picks for the post.

A spokesman for Goldman declined to comment Thursday. A White House spokesperson did not return a request for comment.

Powell had been speaking with senior administration officials about the role in the lead-up to Haley's sudden and surprising resignation on Tuesday, sources previously told CNBC.

Trump noted throughout the week that Powell was on his list of candidates to succeed Haley and all signs pointed to her getting the position.

"Dina is certainly a person I would consider and she's under consideration," Trump said Tuesday.

However over the past 24 hours, Powell has become increasingly aware of the difficulties she may have faced getting through a Senate confirmation hearing without being grilled about her work at Goldman, according to one source briefed on the matter.

This person, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Powell was concerned about lawmakers, such as longtime Wall Street critic Sen. Elizabeth Warren, trying to paint her as someone linked to big business "fat cats."

A source close to Powell had previously told CNBC that she was also happy working at the bank.

Before her stint in the Trump White House, Powell led Goldman's Impact Investing Business and the Environmental Markets Group for almost a decade. After she left the administration, she joined the firm's management committee and is responsible for strengthening Goldman's foreign relationships.

Powell made key alliances during her time in the White House.

Powell became close with the president's elder daughter, Ivanka Trump, as they formed an alliance during the early stages of the Trump administration.

Haley, once a close colleague of Powell's, was also known to be friendly with Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner.

Haley praised the couple during her resignation announcement Tuesday. "I can't say enough good things about Jared and Ivanka," she said. "Jared is such a hidden genius that no one understands."

In a tweet after Haley declared she would be leaving, Ivanka Trump said that she was "grateful for her [Haley's] friendship."

Powell and Haley apparently also have a close relationship.

The outgoing U.N. ambassador tweeted a photo of herself, Powell and others spending time together in Haley's home state of South Carolina.