Fast Facts on Nikki Haley

This week begins the Republican National Convention, where the Republican party will nominate its candidates for President and Vice President. One notable speaker from the convention is former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley. As an experienced and popular politician, her name has already been mentioned as a potential 2024 presidential candidate. Here are a few quick facts to know about her:

  • Haley was born Nimrata Nikki Randhawa to an Indian Punjabi American Sikh family in South Carolina. At the age of 12, she began helping with the bookkeeping at her mother’s business, before going on to graduate from Clemson University. She then became the Chief Financial Officer at her mother’s company.
  • Haley’s political career started in the South Carolina House of Representatives, where she served three terms from 2005-2011. She challenged the longest-serving legislator in the South Carolina Statehouse, and defeated him after a runoff election. Haley became the first Indian-American to hold office in South Carolina.
  • In 2011, Haley made history by becoming the first woman governor of South Carolina, and the first Indian-American woman governor elected in the United States. She was subjected to a bitter campaign with racist slurs and personal attacks, but still defeated more experienced candidates. Haley served two terms before resigning early to accept a cabinet position in the Trump administration.
  • She delivered the GOP response to President Obama’s final state of the union address in 2016, which drew praise for her positive and uplifting remarks.
  • She was sworn in as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations by a vote of 96-4 in 2017, and served until the end of 2018.
  • In 2016, she was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in for her handling of South Carolina’s Charleston Nine shooting, the police shooting of Walter Scott, and the state’s 1,000 year flood.

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