The president could see that his resilient economy was indeed roaring back from the coronavirus shutdowns. However, some were not able to get work and income quickly enough. When Trump announced a bridge program "farmers to families" he asked Ivanka to take the lead. In a curious way, this program cements Ivanka Trump’s own role as a figure in history.
She is not just one of the most extraordinary presidential daughters to have worked in the White House, she has entered a rare pantheon of women humanitarians.
Audrey Hepburn, used her beauty to raise money for UNICEF to feed the hungry. Lady Di used her fame to show us how to embrace the victims of AIDS. Melinda Gates uses her wealth to promote women in the workforce, including technology. Ivanka Trump adds the power of her White House office to promote a long list of issues that would have been neglected without her.
I first met Ivanka Trump through her work combating human trafficking. At the request of the FBI, my wife and I were hosting Nigerian students in the United States who had been victims. Ivanka wanted to meet them and hear their stories.
It was an eye opening experience and gave me a chance to see the massive work that flowed through Ivanka Trump’s office. She was leading the global effort for Women economic empowerment. This took her too many conferences across the globe. She was heavily involved in workforce development, STEM education, helping workers retrain for jobs that are needed by the new economy.
The national media has been stubborn about awarding any recognition to Ivanka. In the process of its condescending coverage has often ended up with egg on their faces. Such as their rush to judgment about total jobs created by Ivanka, versus net jobs created during the same time period. By any measurement, Ivanka Trump’s work has resulted in many hundreds of thousands of jobs for Americans.
In Pittsburgh last week, Ivanka helped with the food distribution. She was joined by Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, the President’s religious liaison, Paula White, City Serve founder, Dave Donaldson, Mega Church pastor Wendell Vinson and many others.
My own son, Scott Wead, works with CityServe to get food and resources to the neediest of neighborhoods. It's a massive operation which brings smiles of relief to the poorest of Americans.
The farmers were producing food that couldn’t get into the supply chain or in some cases couldn’t be purchased. The poor were living paycheck to paycheck, needing temporary help to feed their families. This project is yet another successful effort promoted out of Ivanka Trump’s White House office.
Ivanka Trump continues to work, graciously, kindly, making a difference while the winds of political resentment and personal jealousy buffet her family.
I was able to interview Ivanka for my book "Inside Trump's White House," and this was her response to the question about critics. "My life is too important for me to waste in rivalries and in personal vendettas," she said. "I choose not to do that. I choose to think the best of people. Most of all, I choose to be happy and aim for impact. This is really important to me. I have no time for bitterness." Ivanka had once told a journalist, "You can’t be a confident, secure person if you are not happy."
In her own book, "The Trump Card," Ivanka took Rudyard Kipling’s view of criticism. "I get it from both sides, the good and the bad. And I’ve learned to ignore it. To rise above it. I refuse to let the opinions of others define how I see myself."
"I value the opinions of those I love," Ivanka once told me. "And those I work with. Anyone else? It’s all noise."
In a subsequent interview, as journalists and writers like to do, I repeated some of the same questions, just in case I might get a nuanced, more revealing answer. Once more I asked her, "How do you handle the criticism?" I was glad that I did. "On a human level," she said. "On a very personal level, it can be very difficult, very challenging. Especially when it is wrong. Although, I’m pretty thick skinned."
"Then she added this line: "For me, the most important thing is the truth that I know."
(Quotes taken from "Inside Trump’s White House.")