President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE will name South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) as the nation’s next ambassador to the United Nations, his transition team announced early Wednesday.
“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.
“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’s appointment, first reported by the Charleston Post & Courier, represents an outside-the-box pick for the incoming Trump administration: Haley was critical of Trump during the Republican presidential primaries, when she backed Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioHillicon Valley: Georgia officials launch investigation after election day chaos | Senate report finds Chinese telecom groups operated in US without proper oversight Republican Senators ask FCC to ‘clearly define’ when social media platforms should receive liability protections Trump’s tweet on protester sparks GOP backlash MORE (R-Fla.), though, like Trump, she is also a politician who won office based on her outsider credentials.
Haley would be the first woman — and, as an Indian-American, the first minority — named to a senior position in Trump’s administration.
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Haley, serving her second term as governor, has little direct foreign policy experience. She has spent time overseas negotiating trade deals for South Carolina businesses, but she has never served in a roll directly related to American foreign policy or any other role in the federal government.
If confirmed, Haley would be the first ambassador since Madeleine Albright never to have served in any other role in the federal government before heading to Turtle Bay.
Back home in South Carolina, Haley’s selection will have a significant impact on the race to replace her in 2018. If Haley becomes the next ambassador to the United Nations, she would be succeeded by Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster (R), who has had his own conversations with the incoming Trump administration.
McMaster, the first major South Carolina politician to back Trump during the primaries, had considered running to replace Haley when term limits barred her from a third term in 2018. If Haley were to leave the state before her term expires, McMaster would likely get a leg up on a potentially crowded primary in 2018.
Updated at 8:42 a.m.