President-elect Donald Trump has tapped South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley to be the US ambassador to the United Nations, and in so doing, he has sent a popular conservative figure into new terrain.
Throughout the campaign, Trump and Haley repeatedly clashed in their own respective styles, but since Trump’s win, they have put their differences aside.
If Haley is successfully confirmed, it will be her job to deliver his message effectively to the international community.
What makes Haley right for the job?
Haley’s statements throughout the campaign showed she is unafraid to criticize Trump even if it engenders pushback.
But her personal story is the main selling point for her candidacy. As an Indian-American woman, Haley would bring diversity to Trump’s cabinet, which has so far shaped up to be mostly older, white men.
And, of course, Haley earned widespread plaudits for her response to last year’s shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, when a white supremacist shot members of a historically significant black church. Haley worked with members of both parties in the state to take down a Confederate flag that flew on state grounds.
What do Haley’s critics say?
Opponents of the South Carolina governor moving to the UN job cite her lack of experience in international affairs.
Indeed, she has little experience on the world stage at all and most of her positions remain unknown.
For better or worse, previous UN ambassadors, like Susan Rice and John Bolton, had demonstrated experience and expertise before taking the job.
What made Haley who she is?
The child of Indian Sikh immigrants, Haley was born and raised in South Carolina. She worked in her mother’s clothing store and attended Clemson University, where she graduated with an accounting degree.
She entered politics formally in the early 2000s and worked her way up to become a popular, two-term governor.
Although she has Sikh heritage, Haley is a practicing Methodist.
Her husband is in the National Guard and served in Afghanistan.