Illustration by Ali Almandalawi
Early Life and Education
Ivanka was born on October 30, 1991, in Manhattan, New York to mother Ivana Marie Trump and father Donald Trump. She was named Ivana after her mother, but soon adopted her nickname “Ivanka” as her moniker. She spent most of her childhood in New York but then moved to Connecticut when she was 15 where she attended a boarding school called Choate Rosemary Hall. Afterward, she spent two years in Georgetown University and another two years at the University of Pennsylvania where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in Economics in 2004.
Business and Entrepreneurship
Three years after graduating, she partnered with Dynamic Diamond Corp to create her own jewelry line called “Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry”. Her first flagship store was moved from Madison Avenue to Mercer Street in Manhattan. A boutique selling her jewelry was also opened in the Trump Tower and her brand also made it to the international scene, as shops in Canada, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Qatar stocked her products. In addition to her jewelry line, Trump also had a fashion line that produced clothes, shoes, and accessories, which were sold in retail stores in the US and Canada. She left the fashion industry in 2018 to focus on her career in politics.
Love, Conversion, and Marriage
She met real estate developer Jared Kushner in 2005 through mutual friends and they soon started dating. In 2009, she started learning more about her boyfriend’s religion and eventually converted to Orthodox Judaism and adopted the Hebrew name “Yael”. Her father did not object to her daughter’s decision and supported her “from day one”. She and Jared got married that same year in a Jewish ceremony and they have three children together.
Working in Her Father’s Cabinet
Ivanka’s life would take a different turn in 2015 when her father decided to run for the presidency of the United States. She endorsed her father and joined him in the campaign trail, often giving opening speeches at venues. After he was inaugurated on January 2017, Donald appointed his daughter as Advisor to the President of the United States. As advisor, she represented the US in a number of panels such as the 2017 W20 Summit (a precursor to the G20 Summit) in Berlin where she spoke with a number of influential women such as Angela Merkel and Christine Lagarde. She eventually played more active roles in American foreign policy as she accompanied her father in the 2019 G20 Summit and even participated in her father’s 2019 meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.