Foreign policy novice known for strong views

Mrs Haley, seen here in a 2014 photo, has drawn the approval of Israel over her nomination.
Mrs Haley, seen here in a 2014 photo, has drawn the approval of Israel over her nomination.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

WASHINGTON • South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, 44, has little foreign policy experience but is known for her strong views. Her nomination as the next US ambassador to the United Nations comes at a time of uncertainty over America's international role under a Trump presidency.

Many diplomats said they saw Mrs Haley as an enigma, whose views on the world have not yet been publicised.

But her stance on a few issues offers a window into how she may carry out her role.

She signed state legislation to thwart a pro-Palestinian disinvestment campaign against Israel, known as Boycott, Divest and Sanction, or BDS - which made Israel one of the first to welcome her nomination.

She has expressed concern about the security checks in place for Syrian refugees resettled in her state. She describes herself as "pro-life" and has supported legislation in her state to restrict abortion rights.

She was born Nimrata Randhawa in the United States to parents from north-western India and converted to Christianity.

She was called "Nikki" as a child and took the family name of her husband Michael when they married in Sikh and Methodist ceremonies in 1996.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 25, 2016, with the headline 'Foreign policy novice known for strong views'. Print Edition | Subscribe