Nikki Haley Fast Facts

Updated 9:07 AM EST, Thu December 31, 2020
Former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks during the first day of the Republican convention at the Mellon auditorium on August 24, 2020, in Washington, DC (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)
OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP/AFP via Getty Images
Former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks during the first day of the Republican convention at the Mellon auditorium on August 24, 2020, in Washington, DC (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)
CNN —  

Here’s a look at the life of Nikki Haley, former US ambassador to the United Nations and former Republican governor of South Carolina.

Personal

Birth date: January 20, 1972

Birth place: Bamberg, South Carolina

Birth name: Nimrata Nikki Randhawa

Father: Ajit S. Randhawa, professor and business owner

Mother: Raj Kaur Randhawa, teacher and business owner

Marriage: Michael Haley (1996-present)

Children: Rena and Nalin

Education: Clemson University, B.S., 1994

Religion: Christian

Other Facts

Haley’s parents are Indian immigrants who owned Exotica International Inc., a small foreign goods store that evolved into a multimillion-dollar clothing and gift venture. Exotica closed in 2008 when the Randhawas retired.

Haley helped with bookkeeping at her parents’ business when she was a teenager.

Her husband served in the National Guard and was deployed in Afghanistan for a year. He was part of an agricultural team that trained Afghan farmers how to turn their poppy crops into food crops.

Haley was raised in the religion of Sikh but converted to Christianity in her 20s. In an interview with the New York Times, Haley said she and her husband, “chose Christianity because of the way we wanted to live our life and raise our children.”

In 2011, she made history by being the first woman and the first person of an ethnic minority to hold the governorship of South Carolina. She is also the second Indian-American governor in US history. Bobby Jindal was the first, in Louisiana.

Timeline

1998 - Is named to the Orangeburg County Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors.

2003 - Is named to the Lexington Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors.

2004 - Becomes the president of the National Association of Women Business Owners.

2004 - Haley is elected to South Carolina House of Representatives’$2 87th District.

2005 - Is elected chairman of the State House’s Freshman Caucus.

2006 - Serves as majority whip in the South Carolina General Assembly.

2006 and 2008 - Is re-elected to her seat in the South Carolina state House of Representatives.

November 2, 2010 - Is elected governor of South Carolina, with the support of the Tea Party movement.

January 12, 2011 - Takes office as the governor of South Carolina.

April 2012 - Her autobiography, “Can’t Is Not an Option: My American Story,” is published.

November 8, 2014 - Is re-elected for a second four-year term as governor.

June 22, 2015 - Calls for the removal of the Confederate battle flag from the South Carolina State House grounds days after Dylann Roof opened fire at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Roof was repeatedly photographed with the Confederate flag. The flag is taken down weeks later.

January 12, 2016 - Delivers the Republican party’s response to President Barack Obama’s final State of the Union address.

November 23, 2016 - President-elect Donald Trump announces Haley as his selection to serve as the US ambassador to the United Nations.

January 24, 2017 - The Senate confirms Haley as the next UN ambassador by a vote of 96-4.

January 24, 2017 - Resigns as governor of South Carolina.

January 25, 2017 - Is sworn in as ambassador to the United Nations.

September 2017 - In an interview with Elise Labott published in CNN’s STATE Magazine, Haley discusses her conditions for becoming US ambassador to the United Nations, including the condition that she be able to speak her mind.

December 10, 2017 - Haley says that any women who speak up about inappropriate sexual behavior “should be heard,” including Trump’s accusers.

December 21, 2017 - In a speech in front of the UN General Assembly, Haley warns participating countries that the United States will think twice about funding the world body if it votes to condemn Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the US embassy there. Despite Haley’s threat, member nations overwhelmingly vote in favor of the resolution condemning the Trump administration for its decision on Israel.

December 26, 2017 - Haley says the United States has negotiated a $285 million reduction of the UN budget for 2018-2019, compared to the budget for 2016-2017.

October 9, 2018 - Haley submits her resignation as UN ambassador. She will leave her post by the end of the year.

February 2019 - Launches the policy advocacy group Stand for America.

February 26, 2019 - Boeing announces its board of directors has nominated Haley for a seat on the board.

April 29, 2019 - Haley is elected to Boeing’s board of directors during the company’s annual shareholder meeting.

November 12, 2019 - Haley’s memoir, “With All Due Respect: Defending America with Grit and Grace” is published.

December 2019 - During an interview with conservative podcaster, Glenn Beck, Haley revisits her decision to remove the Confederate flag from the South Carolina State House after the 2015 mass shooting at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. Haley says that gunman Dylann Roof “hijacked” the meaning of the flag. She explains the flag signified service, sacrifice and heritage to many people. She later says, via Twitter, that her remark was misconstrued by “the outrage peddlers in the liberal media.”

March 19, 2020 - Boeing releases a March 16 letter from Haley in which she resigns from the board of directors. She states, “I cannot support a move to lean on the federal government for a stimulus or bailout that prioritizes our company over others and relies on taxpayers to guarantee our financial position. I have long held strong convictions that this is not the role of government.”