US Politics

Dina Powell is out of running to replace Nikki Haley as US ambassador to the UN, says White House

Powell has told Goldman Sachs’ senior leaders that she plans to stay on as a partner rather than fulfil the role soon to be vacated by Nikki Haley

PUBLISHED : Friday, 12 October, 2018, 7:48am
UPDATED : Friday, 12 October, 2018, 7:56am

Goldman Sachs partner Dina Powell is no longer under consideration to rejoin the Trump administration as US ambassador to the United Nations, replacing Nikki Haley when she leaves at the end of the year, a White House official said.

Powell informed senior leaders at the bank on Thursday that she plans to stay, according to another person with knowledge of those talks. The people described the discussions on condition of anonymity.

Watch: Nikki Haley resigns as US Ambassador to the UN

President Donald Trump called Powell about the job twice, first on Sunday – before Haley announced her resignation – and again on Wednesday, the people said. He made it clear that he’s interested in the idea of appointing Powell to the position, they said, though he has also talked to other candidates.

“Dina is certainly a person I would consider and she’s under consideration,” Trump said on Tuesday. He told reporters that he’s considering five people for the job, including Powell, and that he expected to make a decision within three weeks.

At the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit this week, moderator Katie Couric asked Goldman CEO David Solomon if Powell would be a good choice to replace Haley.

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“I think Dina Powell is a great choice to be a partner at Goldman Sachs,” Solomon answered. Solomon said he would like her to stay at the company, where she’s a member of its 32-person management committee.

Haley is stepping down by the end of the year. She announced she was leaving on Tuesday, surprising many people in the White House, including Chief of Staff John Kelly and Vice-President Mike Pence.

The timing of her decision angered some Trump supporters. Steve Bannon, the president’s former chief strategist, said that Haley’s resignation distracted from Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s first week on the job and news about the unemployment rate again falling.

“The timing was exquisite from a bad point of view,” Bannon said.

Powell, 45, is a former deputy national security adviser to the president. She was previously a Goldman Sachs partner and the firm’s global head of impact investing. Before that, she worked in the George W Bush administration.

Nikki Haley, US ambassador to UN, steps down as Trump lauds her work

Other candidates for the UN job include the US ambassador to Germany, Ric Grenell, and the US ambassador to Canada, Kelly Craft, according to people familiar with the matter. Trump told reporters on Monday he’d prefer to keep Grenell in his current post.

Craft was at the White House on Thursday. She stood in the back of the Roosevelt Room while Trump signed a bill updating music copyright law, an event attended by Kid Rock, the Beach Boys’ Mike Love and other musicians.