Meet America’s New U.N. Ambassador

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley

President-elect Donald Trump picked the governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley as the nation’s new U.N. ambassador. Trump praised Haley as a “a proven dealmaker.”

Haley’s nomination has come as a surprise as the governor had often criticized Trump on the campaign trail. She is the America’s first U.N. ambassador that is non-white as her parents were Indian immigrants. What’s more, Haley, 44, is the country’s youngest governor and her state’s first female and minority governor. South Carolina is well-known for its deeply conservative views and racial tensions.

Haley a ‘Proven Dealmaker’

In a recent press conference, Trump praised her for her ability to bring people together regardless of their background or political views.

“She is also a proven dealmaker, and we look to be making plenty of deals,”

Trump said.

He believes she is the right person to represent America on the world stage. Haley reportedly accepted the nomination. It is now up to the U.S. Senate to confirm the appointment before she can assume office.

In the Republican primaries, she supported Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Senator Ted Cruz. She did vote for Trump but she added she was “not a fan.” However, she dislike just as much his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

When Trump pledged to ban Muslim immigrants from entering the country she criticized him, calling the move “un-American.” In return, the real estate tycoon deemed her “very weak” on tackling illegal immigration. He also said she was an embarrassment to both Carolinas.

Last week, the president-elect invited her at Trump Tower in New York.

Critics of the nomination said Haley has little foreign policy experience. She did make eight trips abroad during her tenure as governor but the visits had economic purposes. In 2011, she was on a trade mission to Europe. Back then, the cost of the trip made headlines: a whopping $127,000.

GOP’s Rising Star

Yet, she probably drew Trump’s attention with her stance on Syrian refugees and Obamacare since she opposed both of them. In 2015, she ordered the removal of the Confederate battle flag from the state capitol in the wake of the Charleston shooting.

The Republican Governors Association named her as vice-chair earlier this month. By 2018, she is expected to become the organization’s chairman.

Haley first assumed office as governor in 2010 with help from Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Before that, she was a member of South Carolina’s House of Representatives. She was born Nimrata “Nikki” Randhawa in a Sikh household. But she is now married to Capt Michael Haley with two children and embraced the Christian faith.

As a U.N. ambassador, she’ll have to represent her country’s interests. She will also brief Trump of UN actions and make recommendations. Haley will also work to address global challenges to world’s security, peace, and prosperity.

She will have a permanent veto power on the UN Security Council just like U.K., France, Russia, and China. The council has only five permanent members and 10 non-permanent members. She might also have to doctor the president-elect’s image after his remarks this spring. In March, Trump said the U.N. was not a “friend of democracy, freedom and the United States.”

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