10 facts about Indian-American Nikki Haley, Trump's pick for UN
- Haley’s parents were immigrants from Punjab
- She is the first woman, and first non-white female to be chosen for the position
Here’s what you need to know about Nikki Haley’s rise in the American political circles
- Haley’s Indian connect: Her parents, Ajit and Raj Randhawa, were immigrants from Punjab, India, who settled in Bamberg, S.C., in the 1970s.
- Birth: Haley was born on January 20, 1972 in Bamberg, South Carolina. She was born Nimrata Nikki Randhawa.
- Early career: No, Nikki was not always interested in politics. When she was 13, she started out with keeping the accounts for her family clothing store called Exotica International. Their family’s business is a famous brand and it began in their living room. She helped grow the business into a major success.
- Back to home: She graduated from Clemson University with a degree in accounting, following which Haley returned to work in her family's clothing store. Her interest in finance, taxes and government spurred her interest in a run for office.
- Personal life: Nikki Haley is married with two children.
- Inspiration to enter politics: Haley drew inspiration from a Hillary Clinton’s speech at a local college. "She said there will be all of these reasons that people tell you [that] you can't do it. She said that there's only one reason for you to do it, and it's because you know it's the right thing. I walked out of there thinking, I've got to do this," she told Vogue in 2012.
- Political journey: Nikki is the second Indian-American governor in American history as well as South Carolina’s first Indian-American governor.
- Important decisions: Haley was one of many governors who opposed opening their state’s doors to Syrian refugees after the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris. She also took the decision to remove the Confederate Flag from the South Carolina statehouse grounds following a week of funerals for the Charleston Massacre victims.
- The Writer: Nikki has written a memoir titled, Can’t Is Not an Option: My American Story, published in 2012.
- Political leanings: Haley did not endorse Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election. First, the Republican endorsed Florida senator Marco Rubio, and then gave her support to Ted Cruz after Rubio dropped out of the race.
- The fact that I happen to be an Indian female, of course that brings a new dynamic. But what I hope it does is cause a conversation in this state where we no longer live by layers, but we live by philosophies. – Nikki Haley in 2012