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anne mikolay 2018Ivanka Trump and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, two young women firmly on opposite sides of the political fence, are very much in the spotlight this week. Ivanka Trump was at her father’s side at the G20 summit and accompanied him inside the DMZ for talks with North Korean leader, Kim Jung-Un. Ivanka’s presence on the world stage stirred public criticism, most notably from New York congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez. “It may be shocking to some,” the congresswoman tweeted, “but being someone’s daughter actually isn’t a career qualification.” A review of facebook postings reveals varied reactions to Ivanka’s G20 role and to AOC’s subsequent response. For the most part, Trump lovers claim AOC, a former bartender, isn’t intellectually qualified to tie Ivanka’s shoelaces. Those decidedly in AOC’s camp tout the congresswoman’s education, work ethic, and dedication to serving the oppressed, and lambast Ivanka’s unofficial role in foreign policy.

Of course, you are entitled to your opinion. You can love Ivanka and dislike AOC, or vice versa, but if you claim either of these women is well qualified for her position (or not), you had better present facts to support your opinion or you’re merely spreading more ill-informed, political hot air. Facebook reveals a woefully apparent lack of knowledge about both Ivanka and AOC. Some people know nothing about Ivanka Trump’s educational background or qualifications for her role as Advisor to the President and love or dislike her simply because she’s an extension of Donald Trump. Similarly, not many know much about AOC’s background. Critics see her as nothing more than a brash Democratic upstart; others support her solely based upon her opposition to the current administration. Are either of these women qualified for their current positions? Let’s examine, without prejudice, the education and professional background of each of these contemporary women.

Up first: Ivanka.

Ivana Maria “Ivanka” Trump boasts an impressive curriculum vitae. Until the age of 15, Ivanka attended Chapin School, a New York private prep school for girls, followed by attendance at the prestigious Choate Rosemary Hall, a boarding school in Connecticut. Ivanka studied for two years at Georgetown University, then transferred to the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, where she earned an undergraduate degree, cum laude, in economics in 2004. Upon graduation, Ivanka worked for two years at a real estate development firm unaffiliated with the Trump Organization. With experience under her belt, Ivanka then joined her father’s firm and rose to Executive Vice President of Acquisitions and Development. Ivanka co-founded the Trump Hotel Collection, a luxury hotel management company, and also launched her own lifestyle brand, the Ivanka Trump collection, featuring designer jewelry, handbags, clothing, and shoes. In recognition for her professional excellence and leadership, in 2012, Ivanka’s alma mater presented her with the  alumni association’s Joseph Wharton Award for Young Leadership. In 2017, Ivanka separated herself from her business and officially joined her father in the White House.

Next up: AOC.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a native of the Bronx, New York, graduated from Yorktown High School in 2007. In 2011, she graduated cum laude from Boston University’s College of Arts and Sciences, majoring in international relations and economics. During her years at Boston University, AOC served as an intern in the office of U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, specializing in foreign affairs and immigration issues. After college, to assist her mother financially, Alexandria worked as a bartender. At that time, she launched Brook Avenue Press, a publishing firm dedicated to positively portraying the Bronx community. Additionally, she worked for the nonprofit National Hispanic Institute and served as the education director of the 2017 northeast collegiate world series and participated in the panel on the future of Latino leadership. During the 2016 presidential election, Alexandria worked as an organizer for candidate Bernie Sanders. After the election, AOC visited Flint, Michigan, to research the Flint water crisis. In 2018, Ocasio-Cortez defeated the ten term Democratic incumbent to become Representative D-NY of the 14th District. She currently serves on the House Committee on Financial Services and the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, as well as several subcommittees.

This brief background check reveals both Ivanka Trump and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are well educated, accomplished professionals. However, only AOC, with a background in government and service, is qualified for her current position. While Ivanka Trump is an accomplished businesswoman, she lacks the government experience to substantiate her role as Advisor to the President or her participation in foreign policy. She should not be acting in her current capacity in the White House, nor should she have been included in the G20. As Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez aptly stated, being the President’s daughter is not a career qualification.

Bottom line as I see it: if you have questions about shoes, fashion, real estate, or luxury hotels, consult Ivanka Trump. If you have questions about the current political environment or legislation,  consult AOC.