Ivana Marie "Ivanka" Trump (/ɪˈvɑːŋkə/; born October 30, 1981) is an American businesswoman, serving since 2017 as Advisor to the President, her father Donald Trump, and the director of the Office of Economic Initiatives and Entrepreneurship. The daughter and second child of President Trump and his first wife, Ivana, she is the first Jewish member of a first family, having converted before marrying her husband, Jared Kushner.
Trump was born in Manhattan, New York City, and is the second child of Czech-American model Ivana (née Zelníčková) and Donald Trump. Her father has German and Scottish ancestry. For most of her life, she has been nicknamed "Ivanka", a Slavic diminutive form of Ivana. Her parents divorced in 1992 when she was ten years old. She has two brothers, Donald Jr. and Eric, a half-sister, Tiffany, and a half-brother, Barron.
In 1997, at the age of 15, Trump co-hosted the Miss Teen USA Pageant, which was partially owned by her father, Donald Trump, from 1996 to 2005.
When Trump was attending boarding school as a teenager, she began modeling "on weekends and holidays and absolutely not during the school year," according to her mother, Ivana Trump. She was featured in print advertisements for Tommy Hilfiger and Sasson Jeans and walked fashion runways for Versace, Marc Bouwer and Thierry Mugler. In May 1997, she was featured on the cover of Seventeen which ran a story on "celeb moms & daughters".
After graduating from Choate in 2000, she attended Georgetown University for two years before transferring to the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, from which she graduated cum laude with a bachelor's degree in economics in 2004.
After graduating from Wharton, Trump briefly worked for Forest City Enterprises as a real estate project manager before joining the Trump Organization in 2005. She was Executive Vice President of Development & Acquisitions at the Trump Organization.
In 2005, she started dating real estate developer Jared Kushner, whom she met through mutual friends. The couple broke up in 2008 due to the objections of Kushner's parents but got back together and married in a Jewish ceremony on October 25, 2009. They have three children, a daughter born in July 2011 and two sons born in October 2013 and March 2016. In an interview on The Dr. Oz Show, Trump revealed that she had suffered from postpartum depression after each of her pregnancies.
In 2006, Trump filled in for Carolyn Kepcher on five episodes of the fifth season of her father's television program The Apprentice, first appearing to help judge the Gillette task in week 2. Like Kepcher, Trump visited the site of the tasks and spoke to the teams. Trump collaborated with season 5 winner Sean Yazbeck on his winner's project of choice, Trump SoHo Hotel-Condominium.
In 2006, she was a guest judge on Project Runway's third season and on season 4 of Project Runway All Stars.
She was featured on the cover of Stuff in August 2006 and again in September 2007.
In 2007, Trump donated $1,000 to the presidential campaign of then-Senator Hillary Clinton. In 2012, she endorsed Mitt Romney for president. In 2013, Trump and her husband hosted a fundraiser for Democrat Cory Booker, and the couple bundled more than $40,000 for Booker's U.S. Senate campaign.
In 2007, she formed a partnership with Dynamic Diamond Corp., the company of diamond vendor Moshe Lax, to create Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry, a line of diamond and gold jewelry sold at her first flagship retail store in Manhattan. In November 2011, her retail flagship moved from Madison Avenue to 109 Mercer Street, a larger space in the fashionable SoHo district.
Raised as a Presbyterian Christian, Trump converted to Orthodox Judaism in July 2009, after studying with Elie Weinstock from the Modern Orthodox Ramaz School. Trump took the Hebrew name "Yael" (Hebrew: יָעֵל, lit. 'ibex'). She describes her conversion as an "amazing and beautiful journey" which her father supported "from day one", adding that he has "tremendous respect" for the Jewish faith. She attests to keeping a kosher diet and observing the Jewish Sabbath, saying in 2015: "We're pretty observant... It's been such a great life decision for me... I really find that with Judaism, it creates an amazing blueprint for family connectivity. From Friday to Saturday we don't do anything but hang out with one another. We don't make phone calls." When living in New York City, she used to send her daughter to Jewish kindergarten. She said: "It's such a blessing for me to have her come home every night and share with me the Hebrew that she's learned and sing songs for me around the holidays."
In October 2009, Trump's first self-help book, The Trump Card: Playing to Win in Work and Life, was published; according to ghostwriter Daniel Paisner, he co-wrote the book.
In 2010, Trump and her husband briefly portrayed themselves in Season 4 Episode 6 of Gossip Girl.
In 2012, the Wharton Club of New York, the official alumni association of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania for the New York metropolitan area, gave Trump the Joseph Wharton Award for Young Leadership, one of their four annual awards for alumni.
In January 2017 it was announced that she and Kushner had made arrangements to establish a family home in the Kalorama neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Federal filings implied that, in 2017, Trump and her husband may have assets upwards of $740 million. They had previously shared an apartment on Park Avenue in New York City, which Trump chose due to its proximity to her work with the Trump Organization. The residence was featured in Elle Decor in 2012 with Kelly Behun as its interior decorator. The apartment included work by American artists John Baldessari and Rob Wynne.
In December 2012, members of 100 Women in Hedge Funds elected Ivanka Trump to their board.
In 2015, she publicly endorsed her father's presidential campaign. She was involved with the campaign by making public appearances to support and defend him. However, she admitted mixed feelings about his presidential ambitions, saying in October 2015, "As a citizen, I love what he's doing. As a daughter, it's obviously more complicated." In August 2015, Donald Trump stated that she was his leading advisor on "women's health and women" and said it was she who propelled him to elaborate on his views of women.
In January 2016, Trump was featured in a radio ad that aired in the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire, in which she praised her father. She appeared by his side following the results of early voting states in 2016, in particular briefly speaking in South Carolina. She was not able to vote in the New York primary in April 2016 because she had missed the October 2015 deadline to change her registration to Republican.
On October 2, 2015, it was reported that "Ivanka Trump's flagship store on Mercer Street appear[s] to be closed" and, noting that the shop had been "stripped clean". In October 2016, the only dedicated retail shop and flagship boutique for Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry was located at Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York City, with her brand also being available at Hudson's Bay and fine-jewelry stores throughout the U.S. and Canada, as well as in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
In 2016, she was presented with the Fashion Award for Excellence in Accessory Design.
She also had her own line of Ivanka Trump fashion items, including clothes, handbags, shoes, and accessories, available in major U.S. and Canadian department stores including Macy's and Hudson's Bay. Her brand was criticized for allegedly copying designs by other designers, and by PETA and other animal rights activists for using fur from rabbits. In 2016, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled Ivanka Trump-branded scarves because they did not meet federal flammability standards. A 2016 analysis found that most of the fashion line was produced outside the U.S. Ivanka Trump-brand shoes have been supplied by Chengdu Kameido Shoes in Sichuan and Hangzhou HS Fashion (via G-III Apparel Group) in Zhejiang.
While serving in her father's administration, Trump retained ownership of businesses, which drew criticism from government ethics experts who said it created conflicts of interest. It is not possible to determine the exact amount of Trump's outside income while working in her father's administration because she is only required to report the worth of her assets and liabilities in ranges to the Office of Government Ethics. The incomes of Trump and her husband Jared Kushner ranged from $36.2 million to $157 million in 2019, at least $29 million in 2018, and at least $82 million in 2017. In 2019, she earned $3.9 million from her stake in the Trump hotel in Washington, D.C.
After her father's election, Trump wore a bracelet on a family appearance with the president-elect on 60 Minutes. Her company then used an email blast to promote the bracelet. After critiques for "monetization", the company quickly apologized, calling the publicity the work of "a well-intentioned marketing employee at one of our companies who was following customary protocol." A spokeswoman said the company was, post-election, "proactively discussing new policies and procedures with all of our partners going forward." Trump has collected the work of artists who have protested to her directly following her father's election victory. In January 2017, artist Richard Prince returned a $36,000 payment he received for a work featuring Ivanka and disavowed its creation. Other artists joined behind a movement created by the Halt Action Group called @dear_ivanka, which aimed to change Trump's policies by appealing to Ivanka. Among its supporters were contemporary artist Alex Da Corte who told Trump to stay away from his paintings after she appeared in front of one on a social media post.
In January 2017, Trump resigned from her position at the Trump Organization. The organization also removed images of Trump and her father from their websites, in accordance with official advice on federal ethics rules. In the early months of her father's presidency, some commented that she was filling a quasi–first lady role while First Lady Melania Trump remained in New York City (her son Barron completed the school year in New York before the first lady moved to Washington); Trump stated that she had no intention of being the first lady.
On Friday, January 20, 2017, she attended the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States, at the United States Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. Ivanka Trump partly negotiated rates of hotel rooms, rental spaces, and meals at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., on which her father's inaugural committee spent funds, WNYC and ProPublica reported in December 2018. She has been mentioned with regard to the links between Trump associates and Russian officials.
On February 2, 2017, after months of customers boycotting and poor sales, department store chains Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom dropped Trump's fashion line, citing "poor performance." Other retailers such as Marshall's, TJ Maxx and the Hudson's Bay Company stopped selling her products.
On February 9, 2017, presidential advisor Kellyanne Conway controversially encouraged Fox News viewers to purchase Trump's retail products. In June 2017, three people with the organization called China Labor Watch were arrested by Chinese authorities while investigating Huajian International, which makes shoes for several American brands, including Ivanka Trump's brand. The Trump Administration called for their release.
She was an executive vice president of the family-owned Trump Organization. She was also a boardroom judge on her father's television show The Apprentice. Starting in March 2017, she left the Trump Organization, becoming a senior adviser in her father's presidential administration alongside her husband. After ethics concerns were raised about her having access to classified material while not being held to the same restrictions as a federal employee, Trump agreed to voluntarily file "financial disclosure forms required of federal employees and be bound by the same ethics rules". While serving in the White House, she continued to operate her clothing brand business until July 2018, which raised ethics concerns, specifically conflicts of interest. She was considered part of the president's inner circle even before becoming an official employee in his administration.
After advising her father in an unofficial capacity for the first two months of his administration, Trump was appointed "First Daughter and Advisor to the President," a government employee, on March 29, 2017; According to the administration, she takes no salary. Prior to becoming a federal employee, she used a personal email for government work. She also became the head of the newly-established Office of Economic Initiatives and Entrepreneurship.
In early April 2017, the government of China extended trademarks to Trump's businesses. On the same day, Donald Trump hosted Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago and Trump and Kushner sat next to the Chinese leader and his wife Peng Liyuan at the state dinner. Also during the visit, Trump and Kushner's five-year-old daughter Arabella "sang a traditional Chinese song, in Mandarin, [for Xi]. The video, which was lavishly praised by Chinese state media, played over 2.2 million times on China's popular news portal", Tencent QQ.
In late April 2017, Trump hired Julie Radford as her chief of staff. Before the end of the month, Trump and Radford had plans to travel with Dina Powell and Hope Hicks to the first W20 women's summit. The W20 was organized by the National Council of German Women's Organizations and the Association of German Women Entrepreneurs as one of the preparatory meetings leading up to the G20 head-of-state summit in July. At the conference, Trump spoke about women's rights. The US media reported that when she praised her father as an advocate for women, the audience hissed and booed in response. Although the audience can be clearly heard hissing in video footage of the event, German newspaper Bild claimed US reports were simply false; instead, they reported, she "made a sophisticated and level-headed impression".
In May 2017, her second self-help book, Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules for Success, was published; she used the services of a writer, a researcher, and a fact-checker. The book debuted in the number four spot in the "Advice, How-To and Misc." category of The New York Times Best Seller list, received a great deal of negative criticism and was absent from the list two weeks later.
Trump and her husband made a pilgrimage to the grave of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, a popular prayer site, shortly before her father's election victory. On May 22, 2017, the couple also traveled with her father on the first official visit to Israel by his administration, when her father made the first visit to the Western Wall by a sitting U.S. president. Ivanka also visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in western Jerusalem and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem during the trip.
It was announced by Donald Trump in August 2017 that his daughter would lead the U.S. delegation to India in the fall in global support of women's entrepreneurship. In response to the announcement, an Indian diplomat was quoted as stating, "We regard Ivanka Trump the way we do half-wit, Saudi princes. It's in our national interest to flatter them." The majority of reactions to her actual performance alongside Indian Prime Minister Modi at the event were substantial. Anu Acharya, the founder of a medical diagnosis company, said: "What mattered to me is that she has been an entrepreneur, and she is an adviser to the president of the U.S." Shveta Raina, who runs Talerang, a startup that prepares Indian college graduates for the workplace, said Trump exceeded her expectations. "She was poised and was able to answer questions that were seemingly off-script. I think she is young and represents young women, so I think she was the right choice." Still, the local media dubbed hers "a royal visit."
According to her mother, Ivanka speaks French and understands Czech. Sarah Ellison, writing for Vanity Fair in 2018, indicated Ivanka Trump was the family member that "everyone in the family seems to acknowledge" is her father's "favorite" child. This had been confirmed by the family members themselves in a 2015 interview with Barbara Walters on network television where the siblings were gathered and acknowledged this.
During Trump's presidency, she transformed from a liberal to an "unapologetically" "pro-life" "proud Trump Republican." At the 2016 Republican National Convention, she said of her political views: "Like many of my fellow millennials, I do not consider myself categorically Republican or Democrat." In 2018, Trump changed her New York voter registration from Democratic to Republican.
Biographer and journalist Michael Wolff wrote a book released in January 2018 based on numerous interviews with members of Donald Trump's circle. In it, Wolff claims—but cites no sources—that Trump and her husband reached a deal that "[i]f sometime in the future the opportunity arose, she'd be the one to run for president".
She was criticized by some in March 2018 after the firing of Rex Tillerson for meeting with the South Korean foreign minister Kang, even though Kang primarily met with Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan and congressmen including Speaker Paul Ryan; Kang's lunch with Trump followed several meetings during the Olympics in South Korea.
On July 24, 2018, Trump announced that she shut down her company after deciding to pursue a career in public policy instead of returning to her fashion business.
In November 2018, The Washington Post reported that Trump shared her schedule with childcare providers—a form of official government business—through her personal email, a possible technical violation of federal records rules, which require communications to be sent within 20 days to a work account for permanent archival. A spokesman for Trump's ethics counsel stated that the improperly handled emails were sent before she was briefed on the rules: "Trump sometimes used her personal account, almost always for logistics and scheduling concerning her family", and that the emails did not have classified information. The spokesman also stated, "no emails were ever deleted, and the emails have been retained in the official account in conformity with records preservation laws and rules."
Trump went in a worldwide tour in 2019 to promote her "Women's Global Development and Prosperity Initiative", in which she traveled to Ethiopia and Ivory Coast, in sub-Saharan Africa, in April; and to Argentina, Colombia and Paraguay, in South America, in September; and to Morocco, in northern Africa, in November. She also attended the 74th United Nations General Assembly to promote her initiative.
She and her father attended the 2019 G20 Osaka summit in late June 2019; the French government released a video of her awkwardly inserting herself into a conversation with world leaders, leading to online parodies and memes.
On June 30, 2019, Trump participated in talks between her father and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un inside the Korean peninsula's demilitarized zone. She described the experience as "surreal."
Trump was a member of the Donald J. Trump Foundation board until the foundation was dissolved after then New York attorney general Barbara Underwood filed a civil lawsuit against the foundation, alleging "persistently illegal conduct" with respect to the foundation's money. In November 2019, Trump's father was ordered to pay a $2 million settlement for misusing the foundation for his business and political purposes. The settlements also included mandatory training requirements for Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump.
In June 2020, Trump was credited with proposing the controversial photo opportunity for President Donald Trump holding a bible in front of St. John's Church, which required violently clearing peaceful protesters. She walked with her father to the site and carried the bible in her Max Mara purse.
In July 2020, Trump tweeted a picture of herself with a Goya Foods bean can, endorsing the product. The owner of Goya Foods had days prior praised President Trump, leading to a backlash against the company. Trump's tweet raised ethics concerns, given that Trump is an official adviser in the White House, and employees in public office are not permitted to endorse products.
On August 27, 2020, Trump introduced her father to the 2020 Republican National Convention, where he proceeded on the front lawn of the White House to accept the party's nomination before a crowd of supporters. Prior to that, she defended her tenure as advisor in the Trump administration.
On January 6, 2021, during the riot at the U.S. Capitol, Ivanka encouraged her father to make a video on Twitter condemning the riots, acting as an intermediary between besieged U.S. officials and the President. (Donald Trump's video resulted in him being banned from the platform as he said "we love you" to the rioters.) She tweeted a request for "peaceful" behavior in which she addressed the rioters as "American Patriots." Minutes later, she deleted the tweet. Her pushing for an apology was seen as an attempt to salvage the Trump brand and allow for post-presidential careers for the family, possibly political ones, as possible legal threats or impeachment may damage the family's reputation.