Donald Trump Fought To Appoint Daughter Ivanka As Head Of World Bank

News & Politics
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Damir Mujezinovic

In 2019, Jim Yong Kim announced he would step down as president of the World Bank, the largest and best-known development bank in the world.

The announcement shocked both the public and the financial sector, and created a unique opportunity for then-President Donald Trump to pick whomever he wanted for the role.

But Trump did not exactly explore his options, and he never considered hiring an expert. As he made clear in interviews at the time, the Republican wanted to appoint his own daughter, ​IvankaTrump, as leader of the World Bank.

'Natural Diplomat'

In a 2019 interview with The Atlantic, Trump described Ivanka as a "natural diplomat" and said that she "would’ve been great at the United Nations, as an example."

"I even thought of Ivanka for the World Bank … She would’ve been great at that because she’s very good with numbers," Trump told the magazine.

"She’s got a great calmness … I’ve seen her under tremendous stress and pressure. She reacts very well -- that’s usually a genetic thing, but it’s one of those things, nevertheless. She’s got a tremendous presence when she walks into the room," he added.


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Steve Mnuchin Intervened

New reporting from The Intercept reveals that Ivanka almost got the coveted position.

"It came incredibly close to happening," one source familiar with the matter told the publication, revealing that then-Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin had to intervene and prevent Trump for appointing his own daughter to lead the key international institution.

Even Ivanka publicly admitted at the time that her father was considering her for the position, but said that she was content with being a White House adviser, just like her husband Jared Kushner.

Appointing Ivanka

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Scott Morris, director of the U.S. development policy program at the Center for Global Development, said that Ivanka had was neither competent nor experienced enough to lead the world bank.

"It’s hard to imagine that she would have been viewed as a credible leader. It would be the worst kind of exercise of U.S. power," Morris said.

"I have to think as a candidate she would have encountered some resistance. But maybe [the bank’s members] would not have wanted to provoke the U.S. president," he added.


When he first ran for president in 2016, Trump promised to drain the Washington swamp and appoint anti-establishment figures to key position. He did the exact opposite, ensuring that his friends, family members, and business allies get coveted posts.

According to the government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), Trump accumulated nearly 3,500 conflicts of interest during his time in office.

In fact, Crew said, Trump is guilty of "some of the most egregious examples of presidential corruption and conflicts of interest ever raised by a modern president."