Nikki Haley Appointed New Ambassador to the UN

By, Cecilia de Almeida CAS ’19


Ever since the win in November, the newly elected Trump administration has been busy choosing its nominees for vital leadership positions such as cabinet secretaries, chief financial officers, head of agencies, and more. Several of these choices have been attacked by the democratic party and some members of the GOP, but one of the less controversial picks is the current Governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley for the post of US Ambassador to the United Nations. If confirmed, Haley would step down as governor and be replaced by the state’s lieutenant governor Henry McMaster, who was an early vocal supporter of Mr. Trump [1]. Haley has been gaining notability for her “prominent and frequent criticism of Mr. Trump early in his run”[2], warranting her a candid and honest reputation. In her rebuttal to the State of the Union in 2016, she condemned Trump’s inability to denounce the KKK support and cautioned Americans “not to follow the angry voices of politics”[3]. Both clash on issues of immigration, with Trump stating on several occasions that Haley simply isn’t strong enough on immigration.

Being the first Indian-American and female governor of South Carolina, she represents two of the demographics that have constantly been under attack during the Trump campaign, now the Trump Administration. Not even a week into office, Trump reinstated the “Mexico City Policy” or the “Global Gag Rule”, a policy that forbids foreign aid and federal funding for international programs that provide family planning services. President Trump also followed through with his promises of limiting the entrances of refugees and immigrants by signing an executive “banning travel for seven Muslim majority countries as well as suspending the entrances of refugees for 120 days”[4], all of these generating criticism by foreign officials – negativity that would directly affect Haley. “Haley lacks obvious foreign policy experience, and little is known about her stance on contentious topics such as how to end the war in Syria” [5], but when being confronted with this very nervousness in her confirmation hearing, Haley assured the committee that her experience in bringing together people from different backgrounds in South Carolina provided her with enough knowledge to fulfill her job as the ambassador to the UN. Samantha Power, the current US ambassador to the UN, believed that Haley will be unpopular in the UN not because of her lack of foreign experience but because several member states are “worried that the Trump administration will turn its back on the UN” [6].This new executive order only confirms their worries.

If there is a common theme to all the nominations, it is the lack of a sense of direction to this new administration. Experience in public office is mild compared to business experience, one that could offer Washington a refreshing approach on policy. Even though Haley was approved on a 96-4 vote, Republicans are upset by the Democrats’ effort to delay the confirmation of a fairly non-controversial nominee. Even though the Democrats do not have the majority to veto the nominations, it is still essential that the hearing processes are conducted with the utmost rigor and diligence. With rapid changes underway for the Trump administration’s first one hundred days, Haley’s role will be ever the more crucial in smoothing tensions between an apprehensive UN and the US government .


[1] Habermann, Maggie. “Nikki Haley Chosen as U.N. Ambassador.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 23 Nov. 2016. Web. 27 Jan. 2017.

[2] Habermann, Maggie. “Nikki Haley Chosen as U.N. Ambassador.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 23 Nov. 2016. Web. 27 Jan. 2017.

[3] Demirjian, Karoun, and David Weigel. “Haley Calls for Ignoring the ‘angriest Voices’ This Election Season.” The Washington Post. WP Company, 12 Jan. 2016. Web. 30 Jan. 2017.

[4] Diamond, Jeremy. “Trump’s Latest Executive Order: Banning People from 7 Countries and More.” CNN. Cable News Network, 29 Jan. 2017. Web. 30 Jan. 2017.

[5] Isenstadt, Nahal Toosi and Alex, Nolan D. McCaskill, POLITICO Staff, Katy O’Donnell, Yousef Saba, Blake Hounshell, Joshua Zeitz, H.W. Brands, and John A. Farrell. “Trump Taps Nikki Haley to Be UN Ambassador.” POLITICO. POLITICO, 23 Nov. 2016. Web. 30 Jan. 2017.

[6] Burris, Sarah K. “Samantha Power Explains Why Nikki Haley Is Going to Be Very Unpopular at the United Nations.” Raw Story. Raw Story, 24 Jan. 2017. Web. 30 Jan. 2017.

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