Dina Habib Powell

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Dina Habib Powell, of Texas, was appointed March 14, 2005, by President George W. Bush to be Assistant Secretary of Education and Cultural Affairs at the Department of State. In that position, she worked closely with Karen P. Hughes, the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. Powell is also an ex-officio member of the board of governors for the East-West Center.

In May 2007, Powell announced that she was leaving the State Department to join Goldman Sachs Group, an investment firm, as a managing director. The Washington Post reported that Powell "will oversee the firm's charitable activities and serve as Goldman's principal liaison to philanthropic and nongovernmental organizations." [1]

"Ms. Dina Habib Powell (elected in 2007) serves as global head of Corporate Engagement and is the president of the Goldman Sachs Foundation. She joined Goldman Sachs as a managing director in 2007. The Goldman Sachs Foundation seeks to foster economic growth and opportunity globally. The Foundation supports strategic programs that include 10,000 Women, a five-year initiative to offer a business and management education to women entrepreneurs around the world and 10,000 Small Businesses, an effort providing underserved small business owners in the United States with access to capital, business education, and mentors and networks. In addition, Dina serves as president of Goldman Sachs Gives, a firm-donor advised fund focused on creating jobs and economic growth, building and stabilizing communities, honoring service and veterans, and increasing education opportunities. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Dina served as Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs and as Deputy Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. Prior to being confirmed as Assistant Secretary, Dina served as Assistant to the President for Presidential Personnel in the White House. Dina serves as a member of the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board and a member of the Vital Voices Global Partnership Board of Directors and a life-member of the Council on Foreign Relations." [1]

Public Diplomacy

In a Q&A session with Powell, the Dallas Morning News asked, "Some will call that (public diplomacy) propaganda. How do you rebut them?" She responded: [2]

Let me offer an example. Leonard Marks, LBJ's public diplomacy chief, told me about the president meeting with young Egyptians who had traveled here. One said he had been scared to come and anti-American, but he realized that was the propaganda he had heard. When I return to Egypt, he said, I plan to tell people this is a freedom-loving nation. Mr. Marks replied, Mr. Sadat, I am so honored you came.
That was Anwar Sadat's first trip here. He saw everyday Americans, so when he had to choose later between the U.S. and the Soviets, he chose us.
That's one tool of public diplomacy. You can't bring everyone here. So, we're sending delegations abroad.

Bush Ties

Powell, "an Egyptian-born former White House official," was sworn in by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in July 2005," as "part of an effort by the Bush administration to include Arab Americans in prominent positions." [3]

Prior to her new position, Powell was Assistant to the President as the White House Chief of Personnel. At that time, according to the official White House organizational charts, Powell worked directly for only three people: President George W. Bush, Andrew Card and Karl Rove, then Senior Advisor to President Bush. [4]


Powell is "fluent in Arabic" and has "represented the administration in key forums across the Middle East on the president’s freedom and reform agenda," reported Arab News.

She previously "served as director of congressional affairs at the Republican National Committee and as an aide to former US House Majority Leader Dick Armey, (R-Texas)."

Powell "is the daughter of Husni Habib, a Captain in the Egyptian army and Huda Suliman, a graduate of the American University in Cairo. She was four years old when her parents, Christian Copts, decided to immigrate to the US. They settled in Dallas, Texas in 1977, where her father worked as a bus driver until he opened a convenience store. Dina is married to public affairs executive Richard Powell and has a 3-year-old daughter." [5][6]

SourceWatch resources

External links

  • Trustees, American University in Cairo, accessed February 8, 2011.