Nikki Haley accepts Trump offer to be US ambassador to UN: Reports

PTI Washington, DC, United States Nov 23, 2016, 07.52 AM(IST)

Nikki Haley with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal at a meeting of the National Governors Association in Washington in 2015. Photograph:( AFP )

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has accepted President-elect Donald Trump's offer to be the US ambassador to the United Nations, news agency ANI reported today.

While the presidential transition team did not confirm the news, several US media reported the news today.

Haley, 44, thus becomes 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 is also the first ever Indian-American cabinet rank official in any administration if confirmed by the senate.

Reports also suggested that former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, a Haley ally, is likely to be Trump's choice for secretary of state.

Trump has picked Gen (rtd) James Mattis as his Defense Secretary, these reports stated.

Haley met with Trump at Trump Tower in New York on Thursday, PTI reported. "It was a good meeting. We talked about a multiple group of topics and it was nice meeting," she had told reporters on Monday.

A report in the Post and Courier, a South Carolina newspaper, said, "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."

"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 added.

The Wall Street said former presidential candidate Ben Carson has been considered for 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, PTI reported.

Born Nimrata "Nikki" Randhawa, Haley is the first minority and female governor of South Carolina, a deeply conservative state with a 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.

(WION with inputs from agencies)