Ivanka Trump’s star is ascendant at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and around the world, too.
Foreign leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have taken a shine to the First-Daughter, and the recent successes she’s enjoyed during foreign head of state visits at the White House haven’t gone unnoticed by the President’s inner circle.
Now, the administration is eager to capitalize on the good impressions and goodwill she’s generated among America’s allies around the world, and in just a few weeks will deploy her overseas to Germany to participate in the W20 Summit for Women’s Empowerment. This will be her first official foreign trip, and her mettle as a representative of her father will be put to the test.
Should her visit yield the degree of interest and enthusiasm she’s enjoyed on home turf, she’ll return to Washington primed for a future in American diplomacy.
Now, in addition to the accoutrements of White House life (a security clearance, a coveted West Wing office and accompanying parking spot on West Executive Avenue, multiple government-issued communications gadgets) Ivanka has been designated an Assistant to the President, a commission bestowed on top-tier White House officials in every administration. With her position now formalized, she joins the ranks of the President’s Chief of Staff, his National and Homeland Security Advisers, Communications Director, Chief Counsel, Staff Secretary, and only a handful of others in a very exclusive orbit.
But in addition to all this, she’s got something more intrinsically important to her father’s global image: the ability to embody his best attributes and project them outward.
She is polished, poised, and universally palatable, and serves as living, breathing proof that Donald Trump can deliver on his promises, live up to his potential, and turn out a product that attracts global attention and admiration. She’s a natural fit to represent him in the international community.
For President Trump’s elder daughter, the intervening months since last November’s general election have constituted a crash course of sorts in American governance and the workings of the Executive Branch.
So far, her efforts on behalf of the fledgling administration have been primarily inward looking; she’s been occupied with internal White House business, cultivating relationships among the senior staff, and advising her father as he navigates his own trial by fire. She’s been reported at various times to have a hand in womens’ and girls’ issues, economic empowerment, LGBT rights, and climate policy, to name a few.
During this short period she’s gained a vast amount of know-how and insight into the inner workings not just of the White House, but the federal government more generally. As the administration enters the home stretch of its first 100 days, the time is ripe for Ivanka to expand her influence and take on an even bigger role.
Come the end of April, Ivanka will travel to the W20 Summit in Berlin as part of the President’s official delegation. This trip wasn’t initiated by President Trump, either, but by Chancellor Merkel, who extended the invitation personally to Ivanka in mid-March after meeting her at the White House.
By all accounts the Chancellor is not a woman who is easily or regularly impressed, and so her instant and evident affinity for the First Daughter was something delightful to behold. During this visit, transatlantic relations enthusiasts like myself were treated to a spate of candid photos that captured Ivanka and Chancellor Merkel exchanging private whispers, knowing glances, and squad-goal-level affection during a series of events at the White House.
Now, Ivanka will have the chance to build upon this foundation of friendship across the pond, in the company of dozens of other women at the forefront of business and government in Europe, the Middle East, North and South America, and Australia.
What specific position Ivanka will hold in the future isn’t knowable, but she seems poised to rapidly evolve beyond her role as “Trump Whisperer” (aka personal confidant and sounding board for her father).
Her penchant for charming world leaders would stand her in good stead as Chief of Protocol at the State Department, should she choose to stay in Washington (a position that entails welcoming foreign heads of state). Alternatively, should she choose to strike out abroad, she could serve as U.S. Ambassador to the European Union or any number of international consortiums.
If she establishes an office at the White House focused on women’s economic empowerment, as is often reported (her own version of President Obama’s Council on Women and Girls) it could eventually translate to a bureau at the State Department and an Assistant Secretary appointment for her.
Regardless, her future in her father’s administration is flush with opportunities, particularly in the sphere of foreign diplomacy, and it is bright; perhaps so bright that she may yet outshine her husband.
Gillian Turner is Fox News Contributor and Vice President at Jones Group International. She previously served at the National Security Council during the Bush and Obama administrations.