Email to Dina Powell Senior Advisor to Trump

Here is an email I sent to Dina Powell, a partner at my old firm, Goldman Sachs, who recently joined the Trump Administration as Senior Advisor, focused on entrepreneurship, economic growth and the empowerment of women … 

Dear Dina

This email maybe too late as I believe you have officially started at the White House. If that is the case, then I hope it will be passed onto you.

You probably won’t remember, but you and I met during Goldman Sachs’ Managing Director orientation in late 2007. I remember being struck by your commitment to public service and the not-for-profit sector and thinking that your experience and expertise would make a difference at Goldman Sachs.

And what a difference you made. I watched with admiration how you rose through the ranks, heading up the firm’s Impact Investing business, as well the Goldman Sachs Foundation and spearheading the 10,000 Women and 10,000 Small Businesses programmes. As one of the few senior women in the firm, you were a true role model; you were someone who every woman from analyst upwards, should look up to and respect.

But now you are leaving to join the Trump Administration, and I cannot fathom in my mind how you – a person that I respected – can even contemplate working for a man like Donald Trump: a person who denigrates and abuses women, a person who, in one of his first acts as President, clipped the wings of women when it came to abortion, the man who on Friday implemented a hypocritical and shocking ban on people coming to the US from seven countries, all in the name of fighting terrorism. Despite all the scientific evidence, he denies climate change is a pressing issue. And, he and his team present ‘alternative facts’ – a true Orwellian phrase if ever there was one. He is a dictator, a bully, a man who is used to getting his own way. In short, a dangerous person in a position of power. Do you really think you can influence a person with such deeply ingrained prejudices on empowerment of women and girls and female entrepreneurship?

You are Egyptian by birth, your parents emigrated to the US when you were just a child. How do you reconcile your background with working for Trump? By aligning yourself with this man, you have lost my respect. As a woman, as a migrant who has flourished in the US, how can you turn a blind eye to what he is doing? The day he was elected, a piece of my heart fell away. The day I heard about your appointment, I learnt an important lesson: nothing, not even moral scruples, gets in the way of ambition.

So congratulations on your appointment, on keeping your silence, on turning your back on the many women who looked up to you.

Amna Boheim