5 things to know about Nikki Haley, Trump's nominee for U.N. ambassador

5 things to know about Nikki Haley, Trump's nominee for U.N. ambassador
Source: AP
Source: AP

President-elect Donald Trump is set to nominate South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley as his ambassador to the United Nations, per multiple news reports.

As U.N. Ambassador, Haley would be one of the United States' top diplomats. She would represent the U.S. at meetings of the U.N. General Assembly, and also serve on the U.N. Security Council, a 15-member body that seeks to maintain peace throughout the globe.

Haley must still be confirmed by the Senate — but here are five things to know about the next potential U.N. ambassador.

Nikki Haley
Source: 
Cliff Owen/AP

She was the first woman and minority to serve as governor of South Carolina

Haley broke a number of barriers when she was elected governor in 2010.

Not only was she the first woman to serve as the chief executive of the Palmetto State, but she was also the first person of color to hold the office.

Haley is a first-generation American of Indian descent, and is just the second person of that background to serve as a governor of a state.

The first Indian-American governor was Bobby Jindal of Louisiana.

She was one of the top Republicans to call for the removal of the Confederate Flag from the South Carolina state House grounds

After the mass shooting by an avowed white supremacist at an African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina, Haley joined the chorus of people calling for the removal of the Confederate flag from the grounds of the South Carolina state house.

Source: CNN/YouTube

Removing the flag was a controversial decision. However, after a battle in the state legislature, the flag was ultimately removed in July 2015.

"These grounds are a place that everybody should feel a part of. What I realized now more than ever is people were driving by and felt hurt and pain. No one should feel pain," Haley said in a speech as the Confederate flag was removed from the statehouse grounds.

She was not a fan of Trump throughout the GOP presidential primary

Haley was very critical of Trump throughout the Republican presidential primary.

During her state of the state speech in January, Haley called on Republicans to reject "the siren call of the angriest voices," a nod to Trump and the GOP primary.

"No one who is willing to work hard, abide by our laws and love our traditions should ever feel unwelcome in this country," Haley said in her speech, a rejection of Trump's plan to ban Muslim immigrants.


Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/the-buzz/article54381830.html#storylink=cpy

In February, Haley decided to endorse Florida Sen. Marco Rubio for president.

"I wanted somebody who could show my parents that the best decision they ever made for their children was coming to America," Haley said, later attacking Trump by calling him "everything a governor doesn't want in a president."

It wasn't until the Republican National Convention in July that Haley gave a tepid endorsement of Trump.

She has little to no foreign policy experience

Despite the fact that the U.N. ambassador is tasked with being a foreign diplomat, Haley does not have significant foreign policy experience.

Before being elected governor in 2010, Haley was the chief financial officer for her mother's clothing shop, Exotica International.

She served on a handful of local chambers of commerce before being elected to the statehouse in 2004.

Ironically, Hillary Clinton inspired her to run for political office

Haley told Vogue magazine that after hearing a Hillary Clinton speech in 2003 at a local college, she was inspired to run for office.

"She said there will be all of these reasons that people tell you you can't do it.  She said that there's only one reason for you to do it, and it's because you know it's the right thing. I walked out of there thinking, I've got to do this," Haley told Vogue in 2012.

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Emily C. Singer

Emily C. Singer, née Cahn, is a senior writer for Mic covering politics. She is based in New York and can be reached at esinger@mic.com

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