WASHINGTON, November 23, 2016 — Donald Trump continues to fill his open administration positions with the announcement that South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley will be his nominee as the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
Haley is South Carolina’s first female and first minority governor. Her nomination will have to be confirmed by the Senate before she is able to replace current Ambassador Samantha Power. She was previously considered as Secretary of State and met with Trump’s transition team in New York.
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Haley previously backed Trump rivals Senator Marco Rubio and Senator Ted Cruz. She was a frequent critic of Trump during the early days of his campaign, and called him out during her rebuttal of President Obama’s State of the Union speech.
“Some people think that you have to be the loudest voice in the room to make a difference,” she said. “That is just not true. Often, the best thing we can do is turn down the volume.”
Haley announced on Wednesday that she would accept Trump’s offer.
“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,” said Haley. “The second is a satisfaction with all that we have achieved in our state in the last six years and the knowledge that we are on a very strong footing.”
Haley earned praise for her response to a mass shooting at an African-American church in South Carolina, then for her call to remove the Confederate battle flag from the grounds of the state capitol. She met with Trump last week, calling him a friend and supporter.
Haley may face criticism during her confirmation hearing for her lack of foreign policy experience. She has not publicly made her views known with regard to how to end the war in Syria. Like congressional Republicans, she opposed the Iran nuclear deal. She also protested the resettlement of Syrian refugees in South Carolina.
Democratic Senator Ben Cardin said he is ready to discuss Haley’s qualifications during her confirmation hearing. Virginia Senator Tim Kaine praised her experience as governor, saying it would serve her well as ambassador.
U.N. officials are open to Haley as America’s ambassador, preferring her to the return of former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton. If Haley is confirmed, she will be replaced as governor by Lt. Governor Henry McMaster, the first state politician to endorse Donald Trump for president.