Trump picks up Indian-American Nikki Haley as United Nations ambassador

He injected the first signs of diversity into his Cabinet-to-be on Wednesday, tapping South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley to serve as USambassador to the United Nations and charter school advocate Betsy DeVos to lead the Department of Education.

Haley was elected South Carolina's first female and minority governor in 2010.

Cynics would also point out that Haley's lieutenant-governor, Henry McMaster, was one of Trump's most vocal supporters in SC.

Trump hit back in his usual style, tweeting, "The people of SC are embarrassed by Nikki Haley!" The choice of Haley was announced in a statement on Wednesday from Trump's transition team.

Haley's new job clears the way for Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster to step into the role of SC governor.

In January, she took the extraordinary move of criticizing Trump in a nationally televised State of the Union rebuttal.

"When the president believes you have a major contribution to make to the welfare of our nation, and to our nation's standing in the world, that is a calling that is important to heed", she said in a statement.

Haley drew wide praise for her leadership after the attack, as she conveyed the state's grief and successfully led calls to bring down the Confederate flag that had flown on the Statehouse grounds for 54 years.

"I hate that we're going to lose her in SC, but I do see her looking out for America the same way". "She thinks about people first, and that has served SC well".

Haley will be taking over the position now held by Samantha Power, who has been the USA envoy to the United Nations since 2013. "During anxious times, it can be tempting to follow the siren call of the angriest voices", she said.

"I went to school with her from elementary school until about the seventh grade".

"I think she's actually very risky because with four years of her in charge of American education, we will see a definite erosion of funding for public schools, diversion of money for religious schools and to other private schools, and there will be be no accountability for quality".

Haley said she had accepted Trump's offer and would remain governor pending her confirmation to the Cabinet-level post by the US Senate.

Born in Bamberg, South Carolina, Haley graduated from Clemson University with a bachelor of science degree in accounting. But she says her business experience started at age 13, when she became the bookkeeper of her family's clothing store, a job she returned to after college. Not doing so is hard because I love serving SC more than anything.

But she told the Federalist Society recently that although she was not an early or vocal supporter of Trump, she did vote for him and was "thrilled" that he won.

He serves as chair of the State Workforce Investment Board at Haley's request.