Q&A with Board Member Eric Trump
As the youngest member of the initiative’s Advisory Board and an alumnus of Georgetown McDonough, Eric Trump, B'06, has some unique and fresh perspectives about the intersection of business, society, and government. In an interview, he shares his thoughts on a variety of fronts and his continued affection for his alma mater.
Ever since you graduated from Georgetown McDonough in finance and management, you seem to have jumped right into the working world of business. As the Vice President of Development and Acquisitions for the Trump Organization, what have been some of the specific projects and work that your position has encompassed?
Ever since joining the company in 2006, after graduating from Georgetown McDonough, I have been incredibly fortunate to work alongside my father and siblings on so many exciting projects. Most notably, I’ve played a key role in spearheading the rapid growth of the Trump Golf Collection from three properties to more than 17 today, and continue to pursue golf opportunities for global expansion on a daily basis. Recently, I was charged with the $250 million redevelopment of the famed Trump National Doral, Miami, the acquisition of Trump International, Ireland, and the 200£ million renovation of the legendary Trump Turnberry resort in Scotland, home to four British Open Championships. With award-winning locations in Westchester and Hudson Valley, New York; Bedminster, Colts Neck and Pine Hill, New Jersey; Jupiter, Palm Beach and Miami, Florida; Charlotte, North Carolina; Los Angeles, California; Río Grande, Puerto Rico; Aberdeen and Turnberry, Scotland; Doonbeg, Ireland and United Arab Emirates, we work to build our courses, clubhouses, and amenities to the highest standard of luxury, service, and quality. Additionally, my siblings and I launched The Trump Hotel Collection™ in 2007, one of the fastest growing luxury hotel collections in the world, which includes award-winning properties located in Central Park and Soho, New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, Las Vegas, Miami, Toronto, Vancouver, Panama, Ireland, Scotland, Rio de Janeiro, and Baku.
One of the steps you took when you left Georgetown McDonough was to create the Eric F. Trump Foundation, which to date has raised millions of dollars to help children with serious medical problems. How did you get involved with wanting to do that kind of work, and what kinds of results have you seen of your efforts?
I founded The Eric Trump Foundation with one goal in mind – to help children in need. We chose St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital because they are simply the best at what they do. They have the best doctors, the best state-of-the-art medical facilities, the latest super computers, and the brightest researchers. Recently, ETF committed $20 million to fund The Eric Trump Foundation Surgery & ICU Center, the most advanced medical facility dedicated solely to terminally-ill children in the entire world. Since 2006, ETF has donated and pledged nearly $30 million to pediatric cancer research and treatment at St. Jude and I could not be more proud. I personally look forward to being a part of the St. Jude mission for years to come.
As a result of "Celebrity Apprentice" on NBC, you have become more of a familiar face to people, not only in the United States but around the world. What has that experience been like for you?
I have always preferred to “fly under the radar” in terms of recognition and celebrity, but in this family, it comes with the territory. Season after season, the ratings continue to be No. 1 on NBC, and the fans have been truly fantastic. Not only is it fun for my entire family, but it’s an amazing extension of the Trump brand. It’s incredibly surreal to be developing the tallest building in the world one minute, then walking into a boardroom with 10 million viewers the next minute and watch Gary Busey and Meatloaf duke it out on prime time television. However, the second the studio lights come back on, we go right back upstairs to our office and continue our primary passion – the world of real estate.
Do you believe that Georgetown McDonough prepared you for the work you now are undertaking?
Georgetown and the McDonough School of Business are amazing institutions. I could not have picked a better university and business school to have prepared me for the business world.
Why did you decide to become involved as a member of the Advisory Board of the Business, Society, and Public Policy Initiative?
Professor [James P.] Moore, who launched the initiative and is its managing director, was my professor while I studied at Georgetown McDonough. Not only is he an incredible person, but throughout my experience at Georgetown - and for all the years thereafter - he has remained a valuable mentor and significant part of my life. He puts a tremendous amount of passion and care into everything he does. While our daily lives can make us all somewhat cynical, I deeply care about his philosophical and genuine approach as he strives to make a difference and effectuate topics of real importance. Consequently, I am delighted to be part of this important initiative which he is heading.