Born: 30 October 1981 (35 years old)
Married to: Jared Kushner in 2009
Children: Arabella Rose, Joseph Frederick and Theodore James
Ivanka Marie Trump is an American businesswoman, former reality TV personality, socialite, author, and fashion model. She is also daughter of the U.S. President Donald Trump, and his first wife Ivana Trump. She has recently been announced as an official government employee, serving as an unpaid adviser to her father in the White House, joining her husband Jared Kushner as senior adviser.
Ivanka Trump grew up in the spotlight, and has in the past called the media ‘vicious and brutal’, as she recalls being accosted by photographers outside the all-girls Chapin school in Manhattan, asking her to comment on whether it was true her father was good in bed… she was nine.
Ivanka then entered the prestigious Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Connecticut. However, she quickly wanted to escape Wallingford, and at 14 appealed to her parents and school that she wanted to become a model. Signed to Elite Model management, Ivanka had a spread in Elle, appeared in Tommy Hilfiger ads, was featured on the cover of Seventeen in 1997, walked in Paris runways, did events for Versace and co-hosted Miss Teen USA in 1997.
However, in 2007 she told Marie Claire that modelling was ‘as ruthless an industry as real estate…that models were the meanest, cattiest, bitchiest girls on the planet…entitled, unsupervised, undereducated, pampered teenagers’. After high school, she gave up modelling and went to Wharton business school. After graduation, she took an entry-level position at another New York real estate development firm, meaning that ‘I could move on to the Trump organization knowing I have something to offer beyond my last name’. She has since risen to the position of executive vice-president of acquisitions and development at the Trump Tower.
Michael Ashner, the chairman and CEO of Winthrop Realty Trust, dealt directly with a then pregnant Ivanka while negotiating the sale of the Doral, a Florida golf and resort property, in 2011. He reported, ‘she is one of the most capable businesspeople I’ve ever dealt with. I was surprised. I wondered if she’d be like her father, or have an affectation. She does not’.
Now begins a new chapter in the life of America’s princess, as she steps into her new office on the West Wing of the White House. Trump’s third wife, Melania, intends to stay in New York to look after Barron, their ten year old son, at least until he leaves prep school. Whilst, Ivanka and her husband Jared, have severed their business ties in the Big Apple and have moved to Washington. They will quickly become the capital’s most powerful couple. And in Melania’s absence, Ivanka will perform a lot of the ceremonial first-lady duties.
In Donald’s head, Ivanka is far more than ‘one of the great beauties of the world’, he loves her brains, her poise, and her personalised global brand. She is said to be his closest adviser, and will supposedly play the part of ‘proxy wife’ during his presidency when Melania was unavailable.
Ivanka is popular, in a way that the Donald is not. As a former model turned mother of three, as a high-flying fashion entrepreneur, and as executive vice president of the Trump empire, Ivanka is the American dream girl. On her ‘Fashion, Family & Lifestyle’ website, she offers not just yoga tips but life enhancing epigrams such as ‘Success doesn’t come to you; you go to it’ etc. She started the #WomenWhoWork initiative on her site, posting articles about career, fashion and life advice specifically aimed at women looking to climb the corporate ladder.
She is also a female empowerment advocate, which gives her the politically correct appeal that her father lacks. Sources close to the family often report that Ivanka is a ‘moderating’ force on her angry father, and Ivanka herself often lets slip that she disagrees with the President’s more controversial views. She is eager to play a role on the policy issues she cares most about, namely child care and paid maternity leave. The issues are ‘not on the Republican agenda and I have to get [them] there,’ she told a friend recently. Her influence on Trump, and therefore the US, and perhaps the world, is unprecedented. In an interview with CBS News last week, Ivanka explained,
‘I would say not to conflate lack of public denouncement with silence. I think there are multiple ways to have your voice heard. In some cases, it’s through protest and it’s through going on the nightly news and talking about or denouncing every issue on which you disagree with. Other times it is quietly and directly and candidly. So where I disagree with my father, he knows it. And I express myself with total candor. Where I agree, I fully lean in and support the agenda and – and hope – that I can be an asset to him and – and make a positive impact’.