In March, presidential hopeful Donald Trump tweeted, "The people of South Carolina are embarrassed by Nikki Haley!" During the campaign, Haley, the governor of South Carolina, said Trump’s proposal to temporary ban on Muslims from entering the United States was, “Un-American.”
What a difference a few months can make—and an election. Wednesday Trump announced that Haley was his pick to serve as the ambassador to the United Nations. Her nomination will have to be approved by the Senate.
Haley, 44, a rising star in the Republican Party and a daughter of Indian immigrants, has led South Carolina since 2011. She is Trump’s first female appointee to a Cabinet-level post, and she would be taking on a position that requires intense diplomatic and navigational skills in an often-frustrating international bureaucracy.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Haley said:
"When the President believes you have a major contribution to make to the welfare of our nation, and to our nation's standing in the world, that is a calling that is important to heed," Haley said.
Like others under consideration for top administration posts, Dr. Ben Carson, for example, Haley has never served in the federal government.
She also lacks obvious foreign policy experience, and little is known about her stance on contentious topics such as how to end the war in Syria. Like other Republicans, Haley opposed the Iran nuclear deal, which is widely supported by most of the international community.
In 2015, Haley was one of several governors who asked the State Department not to resettle Syrian refugees in their states, citing a “lack of historical and verifiable intelligence” on their identities. Governors lack the power to stop the resettlement, however — and South Carolina today hosts several dozen refugees from Syria.