Nikki Haley is a child of immigrants who rose to become South Carolina governor and then President Donald Trump’s ambassador to the U.N., before her resignation Tuesday. She will leave her U.N. post at the end of the year.
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Haley, whose parents were from India, brought diversity to the nascent administration and when she was named to the United Nations post by Trump showed that he was willing to welcome Republicans who had been lukewarm toward him during the presidential campaign.
Haley had little experience in international affairs prior to her appointment. But she quickly became a prominent voice for Trump’s foreign policy.
Here’s everything you need to know about her.
Full name: Nimrata “Nikki” Haley (born Nimrata Randhawa)
Age: 46 (born Jan. 20, 1972)
Birthplace: Bamberg, South Carolina
What she does now: U.S. Ambassador to the U.N
What she used to do: Governor of South Carolina (since 2011). She served in South Carolina House of Representatives from 2005 to 2011.
Education: B.S., Clemson University, accounting
Family: Husband, Michael Haley (captain in the Army National Guard and a combat veteran, was deployed to Afghanistan), and two children, Rena and Nalin
Things you may not know about her
She was the first female governor of South Carolina and was at the time also the youngest governor in the country and only the second person of Indian descent to become a governor in the U.S. (after Bobby Jindal of Louisiana).
She spoke out during the 2016 campaign against Trump’s call to ban Muslims
Haley was chosen to give the Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union address in 2016, and in it she urged members of her party to resist following the “angriest voices,” which was seen as a subtle jab at Trump, even though she didn’t refer to him by name. ABC News’ Jon Karl subsequently asked her what makes Trump “one of the angriest voices,” and Haley pointed to his call to temporarily bar foreign Muslims from entering the U.S.
“The one that got me, I think, was when he started saying ban all Muslims,” she said. “When you’ve got immigrants that are coming here legally, we’ve never in the history of this country passed any laws or done anything based on race or religion. Let’s not start that now.”
What is notable
She gained national prominence in 2015 when she removed the Confederate battle flag from the South Carolina Capitol grounds.
She later became knows and a strong voice on dealing with North Korea and Iran, all the while building a reputation on the world stage as someone also able to offer tempered guidance.
A somewhat tumultuous history with Trump
She ultimately voted for Trump but not enthusiastically. She supported Sen. Marco Rubio during the 2016 primaries, campaigning against Trump in South Carolina. At a rally in February, where she campaigned with Rubio, she said, “I will not stop until we fight a man that refuses to disavow the KKK.”
The two got into a Twitter spat in March 2016. Trump tweeted, “The people of South Carolina are embarrassed by Nikki Haley,” and she tweeted back, “Bless your heart.”
At a press conference in October, a month before the presidential election, Haley said, “This election has really turned my stomach upside down. It has been embarrassing for both parties. It’s not something the country deserves, but it’s what we’ve got.”
But after Trump won, she agreed to meet with him on Nov. 17. The next day, speaking at the Federalist Society, she said his election was a rejection of both parties. “We must accept that Donald Trump’s election was not an affirmation of the way Republicans have conducted themselves,” she said. “He did not do it by celebrating the Republican Party.”