South Carolina’s Indian-American Governor Nikki Haley is the leading candidate to be President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Ambassador to the United Nations, media reports said on Wednesday. While there was no word from the the presidential transition team, several US media reported that the announcement in this regard could be made as early as today.
If chosen, Haley, 44, would be the first woman and minority to join Trump’s administration and would replace Samantha Power as the next US Ambassador to the UN, the Wall Street Journal reported. She would also be the first ever Indian-American Cabinet rank official in any administration. The Cabinet position would require confirmation by the Senate.
Reports also said that former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, a Haley ally, is said to be Trump’s likely choice for secretary of state, a position Haley was previously speculated for last week. Trump has picked Gen (rtd) James Mattis as his Defense Secretary, suggest reports.
The newest revelation comes after Haley’s face-to-face meeting with Trump at Trump Tower in New York on Thursday. “It was a good meeting. We talked about a multiple group of topics and it was nice meeting,” she had told reporters on Monday.
“The move, expected Wednesday, continues the steep political rise of the daughter of Indian immigrants that started six years ago when the Bamberg native was elected as South Carolina’s first female and minority governor,” reported The Post and Courier, the leading newspaper of South Carolina.
“The planned nomination to the cabinet-level post, confirmed by multiple sources with knowledge of the decision, is likely to raise questions about Haley’s qualifications for a major foreign policy role since she has little diplomatic experience as state lawmaker and governor,” the daily said.
The Wall Street said former presidential candidate Ben Carson has been asked to consider leading the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Haley, the daughter of Indian immigrants, was a vocal critic of the real estate mogul on the campaign trail. She later voted for Trump, lamenting that she was “not a fan” of either candidate.
Born Nimrata “Nikki” Randhawa, Haley is the firstminority and female governor of South Carolina, a deeply conservative state with a long history of racial strife.
As the youngest governor in the US and only the second Indian-American to serve at the helm of a US state, she has been characterised as a rising star within the Republican Party.