Donald Trump has chosen South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley as his UN ambassador, marking his first appointment of a woman to a Cabinet-level position, reports the Post and Courier by way of sources. Another source tells NBC News Haley has accepted. The move is expected to be announced Wednesday and marks a break from tradition as Haley, 44, has "little diplomatic experience as state lawmaker and governor" and has never served in the federal government, per the Post and Courier, something that will likely be a focus during Senate confirmation hearings. However, the two-term governor born to immigrants from India was applauded for her handling of the Charleston shooting and the ensuing Confederate flag battle, and the paper suspects Team Trump "is likely banking on Haley's strong communication and problem-solving skills."
Though friendly with Trump, who donated to a pro-Haley political group in 2012, Haley has been critical of some of his election promises, including his proposed temporary ban on Muslims entering the US. In February, shortly before endorsing Marco Rubio in her state's primary, Haley said Trump was "everything a governor doesn't want in a president." She later backed Ted Cruz for the Republican nomination but vowed to vote for Trump when he emerged victorious, reports NBC News. "When I see something I am uncomfortable with, I say it," Haley told reporters following a meeting with Trump last week, per the Washington Post. If confirmed, Haley will be replaced by Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster, an ally of Trump. Samantha Power has been Obama's UN ambassador since 2013. (Read more Nikki Haley stories.)