Donald Trump on Wednesday named South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, a former critic with little foreign policy experience, to be the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations at a time of uncertainty over America’s international role under his presidency.
Haley, one of two women chosen so far for a job in Trump’s Cabinet, is “a proven dealmaker, and we look to be making plenty of deals. She will be a great leader representing us on the world stage,” the Republican president-elect said in a statement.
The 44-year-old daughter of Indian immigrants, Haley represents what some Republicans hope could be the new face of their party: a younger, more diverse generation of leaders.
Haley took Trump strongly to task during the presidential campaign over his harsh rhetoric about illegal immigration and for not speaking forcefully enough against white supremacists.
Trump has chosen mostly male conservatives so far for senior positions as he shapes his administration following his victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton in the Nov. 8 election. Trump takes over from Democratic President Barack Obama on Jan. 20.
Also on Wednesday, a spokesman for former Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson said Trump had not offered the retired neurosurgeon the post of housing and urban development secretary, disputing a Wall Street Journal report, which the newspaper later corrected.
“Trump did not make an offer,” Carson spokesman Armstrong Williams told Reuters. “He asked him to consider HUD. Nothing has been offered and no decision has made.”
The Journal, citing two people familiar with the deliberations, also reported that Trump was expected to pick billionaire investor Wilbur Ross as commerce secretary.
In a video message released ahead of the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, Trump said he hoped the holiday would be an occasion for Americans “to begin to heal our divisions” following a “long and bruising political campaign.”