South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley tapped as US envoy to UN
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South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley tapped as US envoy to UN

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley (Public Domain)

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley (Public Domain)

(JTA) — President-elect Donald Trump has named South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley the United States’ ambassador to the United Nations.

The choice of Haley, 44, the first U.S. governor to sign anti-BDS legislation, was announced Wednesday by Trump’s transition team. Haley is the first woman appointed to a post in the Trump administration. She will replace current envoy Samantha Power.

Haley has little foreign policy experience and has never served in federal office. Prior to running for governor, she served three terms in the South Carolina House of Representatives.

She was born in South Carolina to Sikh parents who emigrated from India to Canada and later to the United States. She began identifying as a Methodist after she married her husband, Michael Haley.

“Governor Haley has a proven track record of bringing people together regardless of background or party affiliation to move critical policies forward for the betterment of her state and our country,” Trump said in a statement on Wednesday. “She is also a proven dealmaker, and we look to be making plenty of deals. She will be a great leader representing us on the world stage.”

Haley, who is seen as a rising star in the Republican party, supported Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., during the 2016 presidential campaign and called out Trump for his positions on immigrants and for not disavowing the support of white supremacist leader David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan.

Haley was the first U.S. governor to sign a state anti-BDS bill. Though the bill did not mention the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel specifically, it prevents state offices from contracting with businesses that are engaging in a “boycott of a person or an entity based in or doing business with a jurisdiction with whom South Carolina can enjoy open trade.”

Haley also spoke out against the Iran nuclear deal in her official Republican response to President Barack Obama’s final State of the Union address in January.

Haley reportedly first met with Trump late last week. Her appointment must be confirmed by the Senate.

“Our country faces enormous challenges here at home and internationally, and I am honored that the president-elect has asked me to join his team and serve the country we love as the next ambassador to the United Nations,” Haley said in the statement.

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, welcomed Haley’s appointment to the position.

“Governor Haley is a longstanding and true friend of Israel and is an outspoken fighter against the BDS movement in her state, and throughout the U.S.,” Danon said in a statement.