What Ivanka Trump Really Did for a Living Outside the White House

As the favorite child of ex-President Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump’s appointment to the White House has raised potential concerns about nepotism. Many questioned whether Ivanka (and her husband, Jared Kushner) — who had never previously held political office — were qualified to serve as senior advisors to the president. In her role, the businesswoman was responsible for “the education and economic empowerment of women and their families, and the creation of jobs and economic growth through workforce development, skills development and entrepreneurship” (via The Guardian).

At her peak during the Trump era, Ivanka pushed for policies to empower women in the workplace. These included promoting her Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative, increasing the child tax credit to support working families, and promoting bipartisanship Women’s Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment Act (WEEE), which aimed to close the gender gap.

Since leaving the White House, Ivanka and Kushner have been busy brokering the Abraham Accords, which have reportedly stabilized ties between Israel, Bahrain, Morocco, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates, according to Insiders. The couple also bought luxury real estate in Florida — perhaps to stay near Donald in Mar-a-Lago. As for Ivanka’s next steps, it might be helpful to look for clues based on what she was doing before she got into politics. The mogul has previously carved out a diverse career as an accomplished real estate executive, entrepreneur, socialite, author and fashion designer. But what do all these titles really mean?

Ivanka Trump dabbled in entertainment and launched her own clothing line

Before Ivanka Trump, the politician, there was Ivanka, the model. Ivanka followed in her mother Ivana Trump’s footsteps and started modeling as a teenager, according to Vanity Fair. She signed to Elite Modeling and stomped the runway for the likes of Thierry Mugler, even ending up on the cover of Seventeen Magazine in the process. But Ivanka’s modeling career was short-lived and she strayed from that path to follow Donald Trump into reality TV. In addition to working on Donald’s show “The Apprentice”, she worked as an actress Guest judge for two seasons on Project Runway. And who could forget her cameo in the original Gossip Girl?

Next, Ivanka brought her fashion know-how to an eponymous clothing line focused on women’s office wear. By 2013, The New York Times reported that the Ivanka Trump brand had sold approximately $75 million worth of shoes, handbags, and apparel products. Despite early success, activists boycotted companies that sold Trump-branded products during Donald’s 2016 presidential election — and many stores dropped the line at Elle as a result.

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Luckily for Ivanka, she never intended to stay solely in the fashion and entertainment industries. After her modeling career, she told Marie Claire she planned a “more serious” path for herself, explaining that she only took up modeling “to break the monotony.” In her post-model era, Ivanka dabbled in writing and even made steps into the real estate world.

Ivanka Trump has made a name for herself in real estate

Prior to her foray into politics, Ivanka Trump published two books: The Trump Card: Playing to Win In Work and Life in 2009 and Women Who Work in 2017. Although both received lukewarm reviews, the novels showed Ivanka’s desire to position herself as a female mogul and not just a Manhattan celebrity or model. In 2005, she joined the Trump Organization, specializing in acquisitions and design, per Refinery29.

According to a profile in Forbes, Ivanka had a more prominent role at the company than her brothers Don Jr. and Eric Trump, who also served as executive vice presidents. “Ivanka was always a natural born dealmaker,” her father, Donald Trump, told the outlet. “But she has become a very good builder and manager.” Ivanka’s accomplishments with the company included the purchase of the Doral Resort & Spa in Miami and the renovation of the Old Post Office Pavilion in Washington, DC – the latter becoming the Trump International Hotel. During her negotiations for the Doral deal, Ivanka impressed CEO Michael Ashner, who called her “one of the smartest people I’ve worked with,” according to Forbes. But things haven’t always gone well for Ivanka, who has been accused of inflating sales figures for several properties in 2018.

During her father’s presidency, Ivanka resigned from her job at the Trump Organization, Vanity Fair noted. Things still haven’t returned to normal for her since Joe Biden took office, but don’t count on Ivanka to slow down her role any time soon.