Trump picks S.C. governor Nikki Haley as U.S. ambassador to U.N., source confirms

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley speaks to the media  June 22, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina.  (CBS News)
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley speaks to the media June 22, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina. (CBS News)

(CBSN) — President-elect Trump has offered South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley the post of U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and she has accepted, a CBS News source confirms.

The story was first reported by The Post and Courier and The Washington Post.

Haley would, in effect, be the voice of the Trump administration at the 193-nation world body, if she is confirmed by the Senate, reports CBS News’ Pamela Falk.

Haley, a 44-year-old Republican, is serving her second term in the South Carolina statehouse and is seen as a rising star in the Republican Party. She is the first female named to the Trump Cabinet.

Haley is also the daughter of immigrants, from India.

During the Republican primary, she first backed Fla. Sen. Marco Rubio and criticized Trump on some issues.

And Trump panned her, tweeting in March, “The people of South Carolina are embarrassed by Nikki Haley!”

Falk notes that Haley has been at the forefront of trade and labor issues in South Carolina, and has traveled internationally in recent years to negotiate global economic deals, but this would be her first foray in the federal government and in foreign affairs. At the United Nations, Haley, would face a host of seemingly intractable problems, from violent extremism and nuclear threats to cyber security, world poverty, and foreign entanglements in Syria and Iraq.

The U.N. has had several female ambassadors from the U.S., but the post only became a Cabinet level position for a third time in U.S. history during the Obama administration, Falk points out.

There are just over 4,000 political appointments to be made by the incoming Trump administration. About 1,200 of them will require Senate confirmation — the cabinet secretaries and their deputies, as well as those appointees who will head independent agencies, like the CIA and EPA, for instance. These nominees will go through a vetting process and Senate hearing.

Trump transition to the White House – live blog

A smaller number — 353 — do not require Senate confirmation — those are largely the White House staff positions, according to the Center for Presidential Transition. Reince Priebus, who has been named chief of staff, and chief White House strategist Steve Bannon fall into this category. The rest either work just below the top appointees or serve in a confidential or policy roles ranging from scheduler to confidential assistant to policy expert.

In recent years, presidents-elect have announced some staff picks in the days immediately following their election, while Cabinet secretaries were often announced later in November or in December.

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