Nikki Haley
Nikki Haley
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Nikki Haley
Nimrata "Nikki" Haley (née Randhawa, born January 20, 1972) is an American politician who is currently the 29th United States Ambassador to the United

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Nikki Haley 29th United States Ambassador to the United Nations Incumbent Assumed office
January 27, 2017President Donald TrumpDeputy Michele J. Sison
Kelley Eckels Currie (acting)
Jonathan CohenPreceded by Samantha Power116th Governor of South Carolina In office
January 12, 2011 – January 24, 2017Lieutenant Ken Ard
Glenn F. McConnell
Yancey McGill
Henry McMasterPreceded by Mark SanfordSucceeded by Henry McMasterMember of the South Carolina House of Representatives
from the 87th district In office
January 11, 2005 – January 11, 2011Preceded by Larry KoonSucceeded by Todd Atwater Personal detailsBorn Nimrata Randhawa
(1972-01-20) January 20, 1972 (age 46)
Bamberg, South Carolina, U.S.Political party RepublicanSpouse(s) Michael Haley (m. 1996)Children 2Education Clemson University (BS)

Nimrata "Nikki" Haley (née Randhawa, born January 20, 1972)[1][2][3] is an American politician who is currently the 29th United States Ambassador to the United Nations.[4] She served as the 116th Governor of South Carolina, and is a former member of the South Carolina House of Representatives.[3] Haley was the first female governor of South Carolina, and the second Indian-American, after fellow Republican Bobby Jindal, to serve as a governor in the United States.

During the 2012 presidential campaign, Republican nominee Mitt Romney considered Haley as a potential vice presidential running mate, though Haley said that she would turn down any offer due to her position as governor.[5][6] She delivered the official Republican response to President Barack Obama's 2016 State of the Union Address on January 12, 2016.[7] On November 23, 2016, President-elect Donald Trump nominated Haley for the position of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, which Haley accepted.[8] Haley was confirmed by the Senate in a 96–4 vote and was subsequently sworn in on January 25, 2017.[9] In 2016, Haley was named among "The 100 Most Influential People" by Time magazine.[10][11]

As Ambassador to the United Nations, she has affirmed the United States' willingness to use military force in response to further North Korean missile tests in the wake of the 2017 North Korea crisis. Haley's tenure as Ambassador has been noted for its high degree of visibility.[12]

  • 1 Early life
  • 2 Career
  • 3 South Carolina House of Representatives
    • 3.1 Elections
    • 3.2 Tenure
      • 3.2.1 Fiscal policy
      • 3.2.2 Education
      • 3.2.3 Legislative pensions
      • 3.2.4 Immigration policy
      • 3.2.5 Abortion
    • 3.3 Committee assignments
    • 3.4 Caucus memberships
  • 4 Governorship
    • 4.1 2010 gubernatorial election
    • 4.2 Tenure
      • 4.2.1 Lieutenant Governors
      • 4.2.2 Fine by State Ethics Commission
      • 4.2.3 Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl
      • 4.2.4 Economic policies
      • 4.2.5 Confederate flag
      • 4.2.6 LGBT issues
      • 4.2.7 Israel
      • 4.2.8 Request for tax return disclosure by Donald Trump
      • 4.2.9 Voter ID laws
      • 4.2.10 Dylann Roof prosecution
    • 4.3 2014 re-election
  • 5 Potential presidential or vice-presidential candidacy
  • 6 United States Ambassador to the United Nations
    • 6.1 Nomination and confirmation
    • 6.2 Tenure
  • 7 Personal life
  • 8 Autobiography
  • 9 Awards and honors
  • 10 Electoral history
  • 11 See also
  • 12 References
  • 13 External links
Early life

Haley was born Nimrata Randhawa in Bamberg, South Carolina, to an Indian American Sikh family.[13] She has always been called "Nikki" by her family.[14] Her father, Ajit Singh Randhawa, and her mother, Raj Kaur Randhawa, emigrated from Amritsar District, Punjab, India.[6] Her father was formerly a professor at Punjab Agricultural University, and her mother received her law degree from the University of Delhi.[15]

Haley's parents moved to Canada after her father received a scholarship offer from the University of British Columbia. When her father received his PhD degree in 1969, he moved his family to South Carolina, where he accepted a position as a professor at historically black Voorhees College.[16] Her mother, Raj Randhawa, earned a master's degree in education and taught for seven years in the Bamberg public schools before starting a clothing company, Exotica International, in 1976.[15]

When Haley was five years old, her parents attempted to enter her in the "Miss Bamberg" contest. The contest traditionally crowned a black queen and a white queen. Since the judges decided Haley did not fit either category, they disqualified her.[6]

Haley has two brothers, Mitti, a retired member of the United States Army Chemical Corps who served in Desert Storm, and Charan, a web designer. She has one sister, Simran, a radio host and Fashion Institute of Technology alumna, who was born in Canada.[17]

At age 12, Haley began helping with the bookkeeping in her mother's ladies' clothing shop, Exotica International.[18] In 1989, Haley graduated from Orangeburg Preparatory Schools.[19] She graduated from Clemson University[20] with a bachelor's degree in accounting.[21]


After graduating from Clemson University, Haley worked for FCR Corporation, a waste management and recycling company, before joining her family's clothing business. She later became Exotica International's controller[22] and chief financial officer.[23]

Haley was named to the board of directors of the Orangeburg County Chamber of Commerce in 1998.[24] She was named to the board of directors of the Lexington Chamber of Commerce in 2003. Haley became treasurer of the National Association of Women Business Owners in 2003, and president in 2004.[24] She chaired the Lexington Gala to raise funds for the local hospital.[25] She also served on the Lexington Medical Foundation, Lexington County Sheriff's Foundation, and West Metro Republican Women.[26] She was the president of the South Carolina Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners, and was chair for the 2006 Friends of Scouting Leadership Division campaign.[27]

South Carolina House of Representatives Elections

In 2004, Haley ran for the South Carolina House of Representatives to represent District 87 in Lexington County. She challenged incumbent state Representative Larry Koon in the Republican primary—the longest-serving legislator in the South Carolina Statehouse. Her platform included property tax relief and education reform.[28] In the primary election, she forced a runoff as Koon won just 42% of the vote. She placed second with 40% of the vote.[29] In the runoff, she defeated him 55%–45%.[30] She then ran unopposed in the general election.[31] She became the first Indian-American to hold office in South Carolina.[32]

She was unopposed for re-election to a second term in 2006.[33] In 2008, she won re-election to a third term, defeating Democrat Edgar Gomez 83%–17%.[34][35]


Haley was elected chair of the freshman caucus in 2005 and majority whip in the South Carolina General Assembly.[36] She was the only freshman legislator named to a whip spot at the time.[37]

Fiscal policy

One of Haley's stated goals was to lower taxes. When Mark Sanford was governor of South Carolina, Haley voted against a proposed cigarette surtax. The revenue from the tax would have been appropriated to smoking prevention programs and cancer research related to smoking.[38] She voted for a bill that raised sales taxes from five cents per dollar to six cents per dollar. The bill exempted sales tax on unprepared food such as canned goods. The same bill also exempts property tax on "owner-occupied residential property" except for the taxes due from what is still owed on the property.[39]


Haley implemented a plan in which teachers' salaries would be based on not only seniority and qualifications but also job performance, as determined by evaluations and reports from principals, students, and parents.[40] She supports school choice and charter schools.[41]

Legislative pensions

Haley supports barring legislators from collecting legislative pensions while they're in office. She believes such pensions should be based on only the $10,400 legislative salary instead of the salary plus lawmakers' $12,000 annual expense allowance.[42]

Immigration policy

Haley has stated that, as a daughter of immigrants, she believes the immigration laws should be enforced.[43] She voted in favor of a law that requires employers to be able to prove that newly hired employees are legal residents of the United States, and also requires all immigrants to carry documentation at all times proving that they are legally in the United States. Haley signed an "Arizona-style" law cracking down on illegal immigration in June 2011.[44] The law is the subject of a lawsuit initiated by the United States Justice Department on numerous grounds, including claims the immigration law violates the Supremacy Clause. Rob Godfrey, a spokesman for Haley, said, "If the feds were doing their job, we wouldn't have had to address illegal immigration reform at the state level. But, until they do, we're going to keep fighting in South Carolina to be able to enforce our laws."[45]


Haley describes herself as pro-life and has supported legislation to restrict abortion rights.[6][46][47][48] She has stated "I'm not pro-life because the Republican Party tells me, I'm pro-life because all of us have had experiences of what it means to have one of these special little ones in our life."[48]

Haley has consistently supported bills that give rights to a fetus and restrict abortion, except when the mother's life is at risk. In 2006, as a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives, Haley voted for the Penalties for Harming an Unborn Child/Fetus law, which asserted that an act of violence against a fetus is akin to a criminal act against the mother. She also voted for two separate bills that required a woman to first look at an ultrasound and then wait 24 hours before being permitted to have an abortion.[49] In 2016, she re-signed a new state law that bans abortions at 20 weeks of pregnancy.[48]

Haley has voted in favor of some bills relating to abortion that were tabled or rejected, including the Inclusion of Unborn Child/Fetus in Definition for Civil Suits Amendment, Prohibiting Employment Termination Due to Abortion Waiting Period amendment, and Exempting Cases of Rape from Abortion Waiting Period amendment. The latter would have allowed specific cases of women to not have to wait the mandatory 24 hours before having an abortion.[50]

Committee assignments
  • Labor, Commerce and Industry[51]
  • Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs[51]
Caucus memberships
  • Freshman Caucus, 2005–2006 (Chair)
  • Lexington County Meth Taskforce
  • Sportsman's Caucus
  • Women's Caucus, 2007 (Vice Chair)[52]
Governorship 2010 gubernatorial election Main article: South Carolina gubernatorial election, 2010 Haley speaking at the CPAC in National Harbor, Maryland

On May 14, 2009, Haley announced that she would run for the Republican nomination for Governor of South Carolina in the 2010 elections.[53] Haley had been persuaded to run by incumbent Governor and fellow Republican Mark Sanford.[54] On November 11, 2009, she was endorsed by former Massachusetts governor and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, as well as Jenny Sanford, the incumbent first lady of South Carolina.[55][56][57] She was polling in last place in the GOP race before a surprise endorsement from former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, three weeks before the primary vote.[58]

The Republican gubernatorial primary took place on June 8, 2010, and Haley captured 49% of the vote, forcing a runoff election on June 22.[59] Haley won handily in the runoff vote.[60]

Haley was elected governor on November 2, 2010, defeating the Democratic candidate, Vincent Sheheen 51% to 47%.[61] She is considered the third non-white person to have been elected as governor of a Southern state, after Virginia's Douglas Wilder and Louisiana's Bobby Jindal.[62]

Tenure Lieutenant Governors Lieutenant Governor Henry McMaster succeeded to the office of Governor after Haley's resignation

Four Lieutenant Governors served under Haley, more than any governor in South Carolina's history. Additionally, Haley, a Republican, welcomed Yancey McGill, a Democrat, to serve as her Lieutenant Governor after Glenn F. McConnell's resignation. Haley was initially against having a Democrat serve as the second-in-command to the governor, but she, along with the Senate, eventually agreed otherwise.[63]

Fine by State Ethics Commission

In July 2013, Haley was fined $3,500 by the State Ethics Commission and given a "public warning" for failing to report the addresses of eight donors during her 2010 campaign for governor.[64]

Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl

In August 2013, Haley signed an extradition order for Dusten Brown to be brought to South Carolina in the Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl case.[65][66]

Economic policies

Upon becoming Governor, Haley appointed Bobby Hitt as the state's Secretary of Commerce.[67] Under their leadership, the state announced the recruitment of more than 85,000 new jobs and $21.5 billion in capital investment.[68]

In inviting business to move to South Carolina she has said:

What I'm saying is, if you come to South Carolina, the cost of doing business is going to be low here. We are going to make sure that you have a loyal, willing workforce and we are going to be one of the lowest union-participation states in the country.[69][70]

Confederate flag

Before June 2015, Haley supported flying the Confederate flag on the statehouse grounds.[71] In the immediate aftermath of the Charleston church shooting, Haley did not take a position on removing the flag, saying, "I think the state will start talking about that again, and we'll see where it goes."[72][73] On June 22, Haley called for the removal of the Confederate flag from the statehouse grounds.[74] She stated:

"These grounds are a place that everybody should feel a part of. What I realized now more than ever is people were driving by and felt hurt and pain. No one should feel pain." Haley also said, "There is a place for that flag," but she added, "It's not in a place that represents all people in South Carolina."[75]

In July 2015, Haley signed a bill to authorize removing the Confederate flag from the flagpole on the grounds of the South Carolina Capitol.[76][77]

LGBT issues

In April 2016, Haley indicated she would not support legislation introduced by the South Carolina State Senate which would require transgender individuals to use restrooms based on biological sex instead of gender identity. Haley stated:

These are not instances that...y'all haven't reported on anything. I haven't heard anything that's come to my office. So when I look at South Carolina, we look at our situations, we're not hearing of anybody's religious liberties that are being violated, and we're, again, not hearing any citizens that feel like they are being violated in terms of freedoms.[78]

Haley described such restroom legislation as unnecessary.[79][78][80]


Haley has been described by South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham as a "strong supporter of the State of Israel".[81] As Governor of South Carolina, she signed into law a bill to stop efforts of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.[81] This legislation was the first of its kind on a statewide level.[81] Haley also stated that "nowhere has the UN's failure been more consistent and more outrageous than in its bias against our close ally Israel".[82]

Request for tax return disclosure by Donald Trump

As governor, in 2016, Haley received extensive press coverage for saying the phrase "bless your heart" in response to an attack by GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.[83][84][85][86] Trump had attacked her on Twitter for her call for him to release his tax records.[87]

Voter ID laws

Haley supports Voter ID laws, laws requiring photo identification at the polls.[88]

Dylann Roof prosecution

In regard to the state trial of Dylann Roof, Haley urged prosecutors to seek the death penalty against him.[89]

2014 re-election Main article: South Carolina gubernatorial election, 2014 Haley in 2010

On August 12, 2013, Haley announced she would seek a second term as governor.[90] She faced a challenge in the Republican primary from Tom Ervin. However, Ervin withdrew and later contested the 2014 gubernatorial elections as an independent.[91][92]

As in 2010, Vincent Sheheen of the Democratic Party was once again her challenger. Republican-turned-Independent Tom Ervin was also running in early stages of the contest, as well as Libertarian Steve French, and United Citizens Party candidate Morgan Bruce Reeves.[92] The first public debate was held in Charleston on October 14, between French, Ervin, Haley, Reeves, and Sheheen.[93] The second public debate in Greenville on October 21, again included all five candidates.[94] A week after the second debate, Ervin withdrew from the race and endorsed Sheheen.[95]

Haley was re-elected on November 4, 2014, with a 55.9 percent to 41.3 percent win, almost tripling her previous margin of victory over Sheheen in 2010 gubernatorial elections.[96] Her second term as governor of South Carolina was set to expire on January 9, 2019, but she resigned on January 24, 2017 to serve as US Ambassador to the United Nations.

Potential presidential or vice-presidential candidacy

In 2012, former Governor Mitt Romney considered her for his vice-presidential running mate.[6] In April 2012, Haley said that she would turn down any offer: "I'd say thank you, but no, I made a promise to the people of this state. And I think that promise matters. And I intend to keep it."[5]

Haley was mentioned in January 2016 as a potential candidate for the vice presidency in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.[97][98] The Economist described Haley as a politician with high approval ratings who possesses a combination of "fiscal ferocity and a capacity for conciliation," and stated as a female candidate and ethnic minority she would have appeal.[18] On May 4, 2016, after Trump became the presumptive presidential nominee, Haley denied interest in the vice presidential nomination.[99][100]

Haley was critical of Trump during the election, and was a supporter of Florida senator and candidate Marco Rubio. When Rubio dropped out of the election, she then supported candidate Ted Cruz. When Trump became the Republican finalist, she said that she would vote for him, but was "not a fan".[101]

Since Haley became U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, multiple pundits have opined that she could become a possible Republican presidential candidate in the future[102][103] and could, in fact, win the White House.[104][105][106] Trump was said by his staff to be grooming her in October 2017 for a national political role, having many private meetings with her on Air Force One after she had befriended his daughter, Ivanka.[107]

United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nomination and confirmation Haley sworn in by Vice President Mike Pence on January 25, 2017, Senator Marco Rubio standing to the side

On November 23, 2016 President-elect Donald Trump announced his intention to nominate Haley for Ambassador to the United Nations.[108] On January 20, 2017, President Trump sent Haley's nomination to the United States Senate.[109] It has been reported that President Trump initially offered Haley the position of Secretary of State, which she declined.[110]

On January 24, 2017, Haley was confirmed by the Senate 96-4 to become Donald Trump's Ambassador to the United Nations.[111] The four that voted against Haley were: Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), and Chris Coons (D-Del.)[112] Haley is the first Indian American to hold a cabinet level position.[113] Shortly thereafter, she resigned as South Carolina governor and Lt. Governor Henry McMaster ascended into the governorship of South Carolina.

Haley was sworn in by Vice President Mike Pence on January 25, 2017. She met with United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on January 27, 2017, at the UN Headquarters in New York City.[114]


On February 2, 2017, Haley declared to the U.N. Security Council that sanctions against Russia for its Crimean conflict would not be lifted until Russia returned control over the region to Ukraine.[115] On June 4, 2017, Haley reported the United States would retain "sanctions strong and tough when it comes to the issue in Ukraine".[116]

Haley meets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his office in Jerusalem, June 7, 2017

On March 15, 2017, Haley said she would not support a Muslim ban should President Trump choose to enact one. Haley said she did not believe "we should ever ban anyone based on their religion" and that a Muslim ban would be "un-American".[117]

On March 30, 2017, Haley stated that the U.S. would no longer focus on forcing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to leave power. This was a policy shift from former president Barack Obama's initial stance on Assad.[118] On April 5, speaking to the U.N. Security Council a day after the Khan Shaykhun chemical attack, Haley said Russia, Assad, and Iran "have no interest in peace" and attacks similar to this would continue occurring should nothing be done in response.[119] A day later, the U.S. launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles toward the Shayrat Air Base in Syria. Haley called the strike a "very measured step" and warned that the U.S. was prepared "to do more" despite wishing it would not be required.[120] On April 12, after Russia blocked a draft resolution meant to condemn the Khan Shaykhun chemical attack, Haley criticized Russia, saying "We need to see Russia choose to side with the civilized world over an Assad government that brutally terrorizes its own people."[121] June 28, while appearing before the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Haley credited President Trump's warning to Syria with stopping another chemical attack: "I can tell you due to the president's actions, we did not see an incident."[122]

In April 2017, while holding her first session as President of the UN Security Council, Haley charged Iran and Hezbollah with having "conducted terrorist acts" for decades within the Middle East.[123]

Haley alongside President Donald Trump and United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres

Haley said the U.S. military could be deployed in response to any further North Korean missile tests or usage of nuclear missiles and that she believed Kim Jong-un understood this due to pressure by both the U.S. and China.[124] On May 14, 2017, after North Korea performed a ballistic missile test, Haley said Kim was "in a state of paranoia" after feeling pressure from the U.S.[125] On June 2, 2017, after the U.N. Security Council approved a resolution adding fifteen North Koreans and four entities linked to North Korea's nuclear and missile programs to a sanctions blacklist, Haley said the council's vote was "sending a clear message to North Korea today: Stop firing ballistic missiles or face the consequences".[126] On July 5, 2017, during a U.N. Security Council meeting, in response to North Korea launching an intercontinental ballistic missile, Haley announced the US would within days "bring before the Security Council a resolution that raises the international response in a way that is proportionate to North Korea's new escalation".[127] The following month the U.N. Security Council unanimously approved sanctions on North Korea banning exports worth over $1 billion.[128] Haley said that the sanctions package was "the single largest ... ever leveled against the North Korean regime".[128]

Also in April 2017, Haley spoke out against Ramzan Kadyrov and the abuse and murder of gay men in Chechnya. She stated that "We continue to be disturbed by reports of kidnapping, torture, and murder of people in Chechnya based on their sexual orientation ... this violation of human rights cannot be ignored".[129]

In May 2017 interview, Haley expressed interest in moving the U.S. Embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.[130] On June 7, Haley charged the U.N. with having "bullied Israel for a very long time" and pledged the US would end this treatment while in Jerusalem.[131] Israel occupied the Jordan-controlled East Jerusalem during the Six-Day War in 1967 and formally annexed it in 1980. The Jerusalem Law declared Jerusalem to be Israel's "undivided capital".[132]

In July 2017, after the UNESCO voted to designate the Hebron's Old City and the Cave of the Patriarchs as Palestinian territory as well as endangered world heritage sites, Haley called the choice "tragic on several levels" in a statement (see Israeli–Palestinian conflict in Hebron).[133]

Haley in Golan Heights– captured from Syria in the Six-Day War and formally annexed by Israel in 1981– in June 2017

In September 2017, Haley stated that "some countries" (a reference to Russia, although Haley did not refer to Russia by name) were shielding Iran by blocking the International Atomic Energy Agency from verifying Iranian compliance with the international nuclear agreement with Iran. Haley said that it "appears that some countries are attempting to shield Iran from even more inspections. Without inspections, the Iran deal is an empty promise."[134]

In September 2017, Haley said that her government was "deeply troubled" by reports of atrocities against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.[135]

In October 2017, the federal Office of Special Counsel determined that Haley had violated the federal Hatch Act in June 2017 by re-tweeting Trump's endorsement of Ralph Norman, a Republican candidate for Congress in South Carolina. Haley deleted the re-tweet after a complaint was filed by the government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. The Office of Special Counsel issued a reprimand by letter but did not recommend any further action be taken against Haley. The special counsel's letter warned Haley that any future violation could be considered a "a willful and knowing violation of the law".[136][137]

In October 2017, the U.S., along with 13 other nations, voted against a U.N. resolution titled "The Question of the Death Penalty", which condemned the use of capital punishment when "applied arbitrarily or in a discriminatory manner" and specifically condemned "the imposition of the death penalty as a sanction for specific forms of conduct, such as apostasy, blasphemy, adultery and consensual same-sex relations."[138] LGBTQ rights advocates in the U.S., including the Human Rights Campaign, were critical of the vote. After the vote, a State Department spokeswoman announced that "We voted against that resolution because of broader concerns with the resolution's approach in condemning the death penalty in all circumstances ...The United States unequivocally condemns the application of the death penalty for conduct such as homosexuality, blasphemy, adultery, and apostasy. We do not consider such conduct appropriate for criminalization."[138]

In December 2017 Haley, warned UN members she would be "taking names" of countries that vote to reject Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. In a letter Haley wrote: "As you consider your vote, I encourage you to know the president and the US take this vote personally. The president will be watching this vote carefully and has requested I report back on those who voted against us."[139]

In December 2017, Haley accused Iran of backing the Houthi rebels in Yemen. The Houthis are fighting the Saudi-backed Hadi government. She said that the "fight against Iranian aggression is the world's fight." Iranian U.N. mission spokesman Alireza Miryusefi said in response that "These accusations seek also to cover up for the Saudi war crimes in Yemen, with the US complicity, and divert attention from the stalemate war of aggression against the Yemenis." Iran likened Haley's presentation to that of then-Secretary of State Colin Powell, before the 2003 invasion of Iraq.[140] Haley also said that "It's hard to find a conflict or terrorist group in the Middle East that doesn't have Iran's fingerprints all over it", but she didn't mention the U.S. role in Saudi-led intervention in Yemen and Saudi-led coalition's blockade of Yemen.[141][140]

Personal life

In September 1996, she married Michael Haley with both Sikh and Methodist ceremonies.[142] Haley identifies herself today as a Christian, but attends both Sikh and Methodist worship services. She made a pilgrimage to the Harmandir Sahib with her husband in 2014 during her visit to India. During a Christianity Today interview, when asked whether or not she hopes her parents convert to Christianity, Haley responded, "What I hope is that my parents do what's right for them."[143][144]

Her husband is an officer in the South Carolina Army National Guard and was sent on a year-long deployment to Afghanistan in January 2013.[145][146] The couple have two children, daughter Rena (born June 8, 1998)[147] and son Nalin.[17][148]

In May 2015, Haley received an honorary doctorate in public service from the University of South Carolina.[149] In May 2018, she received a second honorary doctorate in Humanities from her alma mater, Clemson University.[150]


Haley published an autobiography, Can't Is Not an Option: My American Story (Penguin Books) in 2012.[18]

Awards and honors
  • Friend of the Taxpayer Award, S.C. Association of Taxpayers, 2005[151]
  • Leader in Liberty Award, ABATE of South Carolina, 2005[151]
  • Legislator of the Year Award, Centennial Foundation, 2005[151]
  • Indian American Pride Award, Indian American Friendship Council, 2005[151]
  • Palmetto Leadership Award, South Carolina Policy Council, 2006[151]
  • Strom Thurmond Excellence in Public Service and Government Award, South Carolina Federation of Republican Women, 2006[151]
  • Champion of Housing Award, Home Builders Association of S.C., 2007[151]
  • W. Mack Chamblee Quality of Life Award, S.C. Association of Realtors, 2007[151]
  • Order of the Palmetto, 2010 [152]
  • Honorary Doctorate, University of South Carolina, 2015[149]
  • Ambassador of the Year, Columbia Chamber, 2015.[153]
  • Award of Appreciation, Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations, 2015[154]
  • David H. Wilkins Awards for Excellence, The Riley Institute at Furman University, 2015[155]
  • First Lady's Visionary Award, Claflin University, 2016[156]
  • "The 100 Most Influential People", Time Magazine, 2016[10]
  • Hyman Rubin Award, Greater Columbia Community Relations Council, 2016[157]
  • WDN "10 for 10" award, International Republican Institute, 2016[158]
  • Global Vision Award, Columbia World Affairs Council, 2016[159]
  • Honorary Doctorate, Clemson University, 2018[150]
Electoral history South Carolina House of Representatives 87th District Republican Primary Election, 2004 Party Candidate Votes % Republican Larry Koon (inc.) 2,354 42.27 Republican Nikki Haley 2,247 40.35 Republican David Perry 968 17.38 South Carolina House of Representatives 87th District Republican Primary Runoff Election, 2004 Party Candidate Votes % Republican Nikki Haley 2,929 54.70 Republican Larry Koon (inc.) 2,426 45.30 South Carolina House of Representatives 87th District Election, 2004 Party Candidate Votes % Republican Nikki Haley 14,421 98.94 Write-ins Write-ins 155 1.06 South Carolina House of Representatives 87th District Election, 2006 Party Candidate Votes % Republican Nikki Haley (inc.) 11,387 99.48 Write-ins Write-ins 60 0.52 South Carolina House of Representatives 87th District Election, 2008 Party Candidate Votes % Republican Nikki Haley (inc.) 17,043 83.12 Democratic Edgar Gomez 3,446 16.81 Write-ins Write-ins 16 0.08 South Carolina Governor Republican Primary Election, 2010 Party Candidate Votes % Republican Nikki Haley 206,326 48.86 Republican Gresham Barrett 91,824 21.75 Republican Henry McMaster 71,494 16.93 Republican Andre Bauer 52,607 12.46 South Carolina Governor Republican Primary Runoff Election, 2010 Party Candidate Votes % Republican Nikki Haley 233,733 65.05 Republican Gresham Barrett 125,601 34.95 South Carolina Governor Election, 2010 Party Candidate Votes % Republican Nikki Haley 690,525 51.37 Democratic Vincent Sheheen 630,534 46.91 Green/United Citizens Morgan Bruce Reeves 20,114 1.50 Write-ins Write-ins 3,025 0.23 South Carolina Governor Election, 2014 Party Candidate Votes % Republican Nikki Haley (inc.) 696,645 55.90 Democratic Vincent Sheheen 516,166 41.42 Libertarian Steve French 15,438 1.24 Independent Tom Ervin 11,496 0.92 United Citizens Morgan Bruce Reeves 5,622 0.45 Write-ins Write-ins 934 0.07 See also
  • Indian Americans in New York City
  • List of female governors in the United States
  • List of current Permanent Representatives to the United Nations
  • List of Governors of South Carolina
  1. ^ Dewan, Shaila; Brown, Robbie (June 13, 2010). "All Her Life, Nikki Haley Was the Different One". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ Rucker, Philip (June 8, 2010). "Nikki Haley: 10 things you didn't know about the S.C. Republican". Washington Post Voices. 
  3. ^ a b Page, Susan (April 2, 2012). "Don't say 'no' to South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley". USA Today. 
  4. ^ "Nikki Haley confirmed as new U.S. envoy to the United Nations". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 25, 2017. 
  5. ^ a b Ariel Edwards-Levy (April 12, 2012). "Nikki Haley On Republican Vice Presidential Prospects: 'I'd Say Thank You But No'". The Huffington Post. 
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  65. ^ ""Baby Veronica" case: Gov. Haley signs extradition order for birth father". South Carolina Radio Network. August 13, 2013. 
  66. ^ "Gov. Nikki Haley signs warrant for extradition of Dusten Brown". Live 5 News. August 12, 2013. 
  67. ^ Wenger, Yvonne. "Bobby Hitt, BMW exec gets new role". 
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  72. ^ Alcindor, Yamiche; Stanglin, Doug (June 19, 2015). "Dylann Roof charged with 9 counts of murder in Charleston attack". USA Today. Retrieved July 1, 2017. 
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  74. ^ "Nikki Haley, South Carolina Governor, Calls for Removal of Confederate Battle Flag". New York Times. 
  75. ^ Scott, Eugene (July 10, 2015). "Nikki Haley: Confederate flag 'should have never been there'". CNN. Retrieved April 12, 2016. 
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  77. ^ "South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley Signs Confederate Flag Bill Into Law". NPR. July 9, 2015. 
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  79. ^ "SC governor says bill similar to HB2 not necessary". WNCN - North Carolina News. April 7, 2016. Retrieved April 12, 2016. 
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  89. ^ "S.C. governor calls for death penalty in church shooting". The Boston Globe. June 19, 2015. Retrieved June 19, 2015. 
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  94. ^ Gov. Haley defends positions on education, health care in second debate Jeremy Borden, Post and Courier (October 26, 2014)
  95. ^ Tom Ervin drops out, endorses Vincent Sheheen The Post and Courier (October 28, 2014)
  96. ^ Nikki Haley's 14-point victory gives her mandate, experts say Greenville, Garnett Publications (November 5, 2014)
  97. ^ "Vice-presidential contenders: The governor of South Carolina auditions for the Republican ticket". The Economist. January 16, 2016. Retrieved January 17, 2016. 
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  116. ^ Conway, Madeline (June 4, 2017). "Haley: U.S. plans to retain Russia sanctions". Politico. 
  117. ^ Kim, Eun Kyung (March 16, 2017). "UN Ambassador Nikki Haley on TODAY: 'I will never support a Muslim ban'". Today. 
  118. ^ "U.S. priority on Syria no longer focused on 'getting Assad out': Haley". Reuters. March 30, 2017. 
  119. ^ Howell, Jr., Tom (April 5, 2017). "Nikki Haley blasts Syria, Russia directly in address to U.N." Washington Times. 
  120. ^ "Nikki Haley warns the US is 'prepared to do more' in Syria". ABC News. April 7, 2017. 
  121. ^ McCaskill, Nolan D. (April 12, 2017). "Haley: 'Russia said no' to peace in Syria". Politico. 
  122. ^ Tamborrino, Kelsey (June 28, 2017). "Haley: Trump saved 'many innocent' lives with Syria statement". Politico. 
  123. ^ Foroohar, Kambiz (April 20, 2017). "UN Ambassador Nikki Haley says Iran, not Israel, bears blame for Middle East crisis". Chicago Tribune. 
  124. ^ Nelson, Louis (April 27, 2017). "Haley: Another missile test by North Korea could prompt U.S. military action". Politico. 
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  126. ^ "U.N. Security Council Sanctions 15 North Koreans With Ties to Nuclear Programs". Time. June 2, 2017. 
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  130. ^ Savransky, Rebecca (May 17, 2017). "Nikki Haley calls for US Embassy to move to Jerusalem". The Hill. 
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  135. ^ "As Myanmar Muslims flee crackdown, US is wary of involvement". The Washington Post. September 9, 2017. 
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  144. ^ David Brody (June 3, 2010). "Nikki Haley Reflects More Christian Tone". CBN News. 
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Can't Is Not an Option: My American Story
Can't Is Not an Option: My American Story
A rising star in the Republican Party shares her inspirational memoir of family, hope, and the power of the American Dream. Decades before their daughter surprised the nation by becoming governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley's parents had a dream. Ajit and Raj Randhawa were well-educated, well-off Sikhs in the Punjab region of India. But despite their high social status, the Randhawas wanted more for their family-the opportunities that only America could offer.So they left behind all they had known and settled in Bamberg, South Carolina (population: 2,500). As the first Indian family in a small Southern town in the early 1970s, the Randhawas faced ignorance, prejudice, and sometimes blatant hostility. Nikki remembers stopping at a roadside produce stand with her father, who always wore his traditional Sikh turban. Within minutes, two police cars pulled to make sure they weren't thieves.But the Randhawas taught their children that they should never think of themselves as victims. They stressed that if you work hard and stay true to yourself, you can overcome any obstacle. The key is believing that can't is not an option.The family struggled to make ends meet while starting a clothing business in their living room, eventually growing it into a multimillion- dollar success. At age twelve, Nikki started to do the bookkeeping and taxes after school. After graduating from college and entering the business world, she watched business owners like her parents battle government bureaucracy and overregulation.Her frustration inspired her to get into politics and run for the state legislature. That first campaign, against an entrenched incumbent, led to racial and religious slurs and threats-but Haley, like her parents, refused to back down. She won on a promise to fight for reform, lean budgets, and government accountability, which is exactly what she did-much to the dismay of South Carolina's old guard politicians.Soon she had a reputation as a conservative leader who could get things done. In the same state where her family was once ridiculed, she inspired a diverse grassroots following. In November 2010 she was elected South Carolina's first female governor and first nonwhite governor, and only the second Indian American governor in the country.Haley's story, as told firsthand in this inspiring memoir, is a testament to the power of determination, faith, and family. And it's proof that the American Dream is still strong and true in the twenty- first century.

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Nikki Haley Shirt President 2024 Campaign T-Shirt
Nikki Haley Shirt President 2024 Campaign T-Shirt
Vote Republican for POTUS in 2024 and elect South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley for President of the United States. Perfect for a campaign rally or get out the vote movement.

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Nikki Haley Shirt President 2020 Campaign T-Shirt
Nikki Haley Shirt President 2020 Campaign T-Shirt
Vote Republican for POTUS in 2020 and elect former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley for President of the United States. Perfect for a campaign rally or get out the vote movement.

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No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington
No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington
From one of the world’s most admired women, this is former National Security Advisor and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s compelling story of eight years serving at the highest levels of government.  In her position as America’s chief diplomat, Rice traveled almost continuously around the globe, seeking common ground among sometimes bitter enemies, forging agreement on divisive issues, and compiling a remarkable record of achievement. A native of Birmingham, Alabama who overcame the racism of the Civil Rights era to become a brilliant academic and expert on foreign affairs, Rice distinguished herself as an advisor to George W. Bush during the 2000 presidential campaign.  Once Bush was elected, she served as his chief adviser on national-security issues – a job whose duties included harmonizing the relationship between the Secretaries of State and Defense.  It was a role that deepened her bond with the President and ultimately made her one of his closest confidantes. With the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Rice found herself at the center of the Administration’s intense efforts to keep America safe.  Here, Rice describes the events of that harrowing day – and the tumultuous days after.  No day was ever the same.  Additionally, Rice also reveals new details of the debates that led to the war in Afghanistan and then Iraq. The eyes of the nation were once again focused on Rice in 2004 when she appeared before the 9-11 Commission to answer tough questions regarding the country’s preparedness for – and immediate response to – the 9-11 attacks.  Her responses, it was generally conceded, would shape the nation’s perception of the Administration’s competence during the crisis.  Rice conveys just how pressure-filled that appearance was and her surprised gratitude when, in succeeding days, she was broadly saluted for her grace and forthrightness.From that point forward, Rice was aggressively sought after by the media and regarded by some as the Administration’s most effective champion. In 2005 Rice was entrusted with even more responsibility when she was charged with helping to shape and carry forward the President’s foreign policy as Secretary of State.  As such, she proved herself a deft crafter of tactics and negotiation aimed to contain or reduce the threat posed by America’s enemies.  Here, she reveals the behind-the-scenes maneuvers that kept the world’s relationships with Iran, North Korea and Libya from collapsing into chaos.  She also talks about her role as a crisis manager, showing that at any hour -- and at a moment’s notice -- she was willing to bring all parties to the bargaining table anywhere in the world. No Higher Honor takes the reader into secret negotiating rooms where the fates of Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and Lebanon often hung in the balance, and it draws back the curtain on how frighteningly close all-out war loomed in clashes involving Pakistan-India and Russia-Georgia, and in East Africa.   Surprisingly candid in her appraisals of various Administration colleagues and the hundreds of foreign leaders with whom she dealt, Rice also offers here keen insight into how history actually proceeds.  In No Higher Honor, she delivers a master class in statecraft  -- but always in a way that reveals her essential warmth and humility, and her deep reverence for the ideals on which America was founded.

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Nikki Haley Republican Governor South Carolina T Shirt
Nikki Haley Republican Governor South Carolina T Shirt
Look great in this throwback Nikki Haley tee. Perfect for your favorite republican friend!

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Nikki Haley's Biggest Decision
Nikki Haley's Biggest Decision
Sometime around February 2012, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley will make the biggest decision of her political career. She will endorse a candidate for President of the United States. She has several candidates to choose from: Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, and Rick Santorum. Who will Nikki Haley endorse and why?

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Pony-poor Tee "I don't get confused" t-shirt
Pony-poor Tee "I don't get confused" t-shirt
Pony-poor teeshirt quotes US Ambassador to UN Nikki Haley's classic response to White House: "I don't get confused" Also available in black print from Pony-poor tees.

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Race to the Top By Shaan Amin
Race to the Top By Shaan Amin
Nikki Haley is an American politician on the way up. She made history by becoming South Carolina’s first minority and first woman governor, and is now the first Indian-American in the United States cabinet. A future presidential run might be on the cards. Calling herself the proud daughter of Indian parents, yet passing as white in both name and appearance, she has positioned herself to capitalise on the Republican Party’s need for a more diverse portfolio of leaders. Her conservative stances—she is anti-abortion, anti-union, pro-business and tough on immigration—have taken her far, but have also hurt already marginalised populations. This includes the black community, whose civil-rights activism opened America’s doors to the Indian diaspora—including Haley’s own family.The Caravan -India's finest magazine of politics, culture and business. Since its relaunch in 2010, The Caravan has earned a reputation as one of South Asia's most sophisticated publications, a showcase of the region's finest writers, with a distinctive blend of masterful reporting, unique criticism and stunning photo essays.

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