President-elect Donald Trump has chosen the first woman to join his top team. Nikki Haley, 44, is somewhat of a surprise pick given that she has been a Republican critic, while his early choices have rewarded campaign loyalists.
Ms Haley’s appointment has been seen as a signal that he is ready to broaden his political base, having been criticised for allegedly running something of a boy’s club.
She comes to the top table with strong credentials as the South Carolina govenor and has now been given the job of US ambassador to the United Nations.
The entrepreneur and former reality star is also understood to be thinking about giving Massachusetts govenor Mitt Romney a key post as Secretary of State. Mr Romney is also known as a critic of Mr Trump’s campaign. Meanwhile, Marine general James Mattis is tipped for the defense secretary role. A spokesman for his transition team has indicated that another cabinet level appointment will be made tomorrow.
Ms Haley has not had any previous foreign policy experience but is set to be given a powerful role in global democracy, even though she has previously clashed with the new president. She is the daughter of Indian immigrants, so will bring a little diversity to the table following posts which have been given solely to white men.
She argued with Mr Trump following the murder of nine black people who were attending church in South Carolina. She said that he should repudiate the Ku Klux Klan, saying: “I will not stop until we fight a man that chooses not to disavow the KKK. That is not a part of our party. That is not who we are.”
Mr Trump, 70, has been seen to soften his stance on a number of issues in advance of taking the keys to the White House.