President-elect Donald Trump announced Wednesday morning that he intends to nominate Governor Nikki Haley (R-South Carolina) to be the next ambassador to the United Nations. The position will be a cabinet-level position in the Trump-Pence Administration. The position was also a cabinet level position under the Obama Administration, but not during President George H.W. Bush’s or George W. Bush’s Administration. This allows the U.N. Ambassador to have access to the President without having to go through the State Department.
The Trump-Pence Transition Team noted that Haley as Governor of South Carolina focused on economic development and has traveled abroad to negotiate with international companies on behalf of South Carolina. As governor, she has led seven overseas trade missions and successfully attracted jobs and investment through negotiations with foreign companies.
“Governor Haley has a proven track record of bringing people together regardless of background or party affiliation to move critical policies forward for the betterment of her state and our country,” Trump said in a released statement. “She is also a proven dealmaker, and we look to be making plenty of deals. She will be a great leader representing us on the world stage.”
“Our country faces enormous challenges here at home and internationally, and I am honored that the President-elect has asked me to join his team and serve the country we love as the next Ambassador to the United Nations,” Haley responded.
Haley did not support Trump during South Carolina Primary and beyond backing U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and then U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX). This appointment signals that Trump is willing to expand his administration beyond Trump loyalists which is an encouraging sign. Haley’s appointment is also a signal to those who may be concerned that a Trump administration will lack diversity.
There may be other appointments down the road that will also prove that assumption wrong as Mitt Romney, one of his top critics during the primaries and general elections, is being considered as Secretary of State. Dr. Ben Carson, reportedly, has been asked to be the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
Haley may not have been the obvious choice for this role, but she is known for her ability to bring people together and for representing American values. It’s unlikely she is going to face stiff resistance during the confirmation process. Because of her lack of foreign policy experience she is an unconventional pick, but, in my opinion, is a sound pick.
Born in Bamberg, South Carolina, the daughter of Indian immigrants, Governor Haley became the first female governor of her home state in 2011 and is currently the youngest governor in the country. Prior to becoming governor, she represented Lexington County in the South Carolina House of Representatives from 2005 to 2011.
South Carolina’s unemployment dropped to a 15 year low with more than 82,000 jobs added in South Carolina under Haley’s leadership.
Prior to her public service Haley worked at her family business. In 1998, Haley was named to the board of directors of the Orangeburg County Chamber of Commerce and named to the board of directors of the Lexington Chamber of Commerce in 2003. She also became treasurer of the National Association of Women Business Owners in 2003 and president in 2004.
Governor Haley is a graduate of Clemson University where she earned a degree in accounting. Governor Haley and her husband, Michael, a Captain in the Army National Guard and combat veteran who was deployed to Afghanistan’s Helmand Province, have two children, Rena, 18, and Nalin, 15.