On Friday, President Trump's eldest daughter Ivanka met privately with Antonio Gutteres, secretary-general of the United Nations. According to an unnamed White House official, as reported by the Associated Press, the two had a 90-minute lunch and discussed women's economic empowerment, specifically the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative, a World Bank fund that the first daughter supported earlier this month at the G20 Summit. The White House source added that the meeting had been arranged by U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley, though Haley was not present for the actual conversation on Friday.
Ivanka Trump collaborated with World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim to develop the initiative, though she holds no official fundraising position. The project aims to raise $1 billion to aid women entrepreneurs in developing countries. President Trump announced the U.S. would be pledging $50 million to the effort at the G20 Summit. By July 8, the initiative had collected $325 million from numerous governments, including the U.S., China, Japan, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Germany, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and the Netherlands.
"I think where ever you go across the globe you hear the same thing from female entrepreneurs," the first daughter said at the world leaders summit earlier this month, "which is that they have a unique challenge accessing capital. There is right now a gender credit deficit that is roughly $300 billion annually, so really working to alleviate the challenges accessing capital is a core mission of this facility, but also creating mentorship opportunities and networking opportunities for these female entrepreneurs is going to be critically important as well, so I love the dual focus and I'm very excited to be a participant."
The president also made an appearance to praise the initiative at the summit. “This incredible facility will have a significant impact on women's economic development around the world,” he said. “It will help increase opportunities and economic growth while addressing unique barriers women entrepreneurs face. I am proud the United States is helping to lead support of this unprecedented initiative."
The Associated Press noted that while the World Bank project was a main topic of discussion during the first daughter's Friday meeting with Gutteres, President Trump's proposal to slash U.S. funding for the United Nations and his opposition of the Paris climate accord — which Gutteres supports — were also likely touched upon.
The first daughter continues to hold an official White House position as an adviser to her father. In late June, she was the subject of criticism after insisting that she tries to "stay out of politics."