President-Elect Donald Trump Has Picked His First Female Administration Member
President-elect Donald Trump has so far chosen an all white, male cabinet — until recently, when he tapped South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley to be Ambassador to the United Nations.
Not only is Haley his first female pick, but as the daughter of immigrants from India, she is the first person of color Trump has named as a top administration official. That's not exactly unfamiliar territory for Haley, who became the first woman and person of color to lead South Carolina when she became governor in 2010.
In a statement, Haley, who spoke out again Trump during the election, said she simply couldn't ignore the president-elect'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," she said.
Haley disparaged Trump in January during her official Republican rebuttal to President Obama’s State of the Union address. (In typical Trump fashion, the then-candidate responded by calling Haley "weak.") Haley later called out Trump's failure to condemn the Ku Klux Klan, from which he has since distanced himself.
But today, Haley seems ready to serve. "This month's elections have brought exciting changes to America. Our country faces enormous challenges here at home and internationally," Haley said in the statement, adding that a "sense of duty" convinced her to accept the offer.
Haley still has to be confirmed by the Senate, but assuming she is, she'll step down as governor and will replaced by the state’s lieutenant governor, Henry McMaster. Unlike Haley, McMaster was an early supporter of Trump. He endorsed Trump in January 2016, and delivered the then-candidate's official nomination speech at the Republican National Convention.
Haley has faced several crises as governor — not the least of which was a massive data breach and the death of several foster children in the state's care. But in her two terms, she's also had her share of successes, including removing the Confederate flag from the grounds of the South Carolina State House in the days following the Charleston church shooting in 2015.
If she's confirmed, Haley will replace Samantha Power, who has served as President Barack Obama's U.N. ambassador since 2013.
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