After serving as South Carolina Governor for six years, Nikki Haley became the United States Ambassador to the United Nations. She was nominated by President Donald Trump, and on Tuesday, January 24, Vice President Mike Pence swore her in as the ambassador. Trump had announced his intention to nominate her in November, after he won the presidential race.
She faced little opposition during her confirmation hearings. Only four out of the 100 senators voted against her nomination. That small group included Bernie Sanders and three democratic senators.
Before becoming governor, Haley was a state representative in South Carolina from 2005 to 2011. When encouraged to run by then governor Mark Sanford, she faced tough competition. Endorsements from Mitt Romney, the Sanfords, and Sarah Palin helped her leap to the top of the pack. She became the first Sikh elected as a governor in the US. Both of her parents are immigrants from India.
Haley graduated from Clemson University and received a BS in accounting. Earlier in her career, she worked for FCR Corporation and her mother’s business, Exotica International. FCR is a waste management and recycling company, and her family business is in the clothing industry.
Her critics have called attention to her limited global affairs experience. She was able to earn the votes of almost all of the senators, though, with her answers to their questions.
She supports Trump’s proposal to move the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. She does not support the idea of creating a Muslim registry in the US, and she believes that diplomacy will be needed to keep the Russians and Syrians in check. They can be useful allies in fighting ISIS, and she and her UN colleagues will have to keep a close eye on how they wield power.