United States President Donald Trump has nominated his envoy to Canada Kelly Knight Craft as the next US Ambassador to the United Nations to succeed Indian-American Nikki Haley.
The 46-year-old former South Carolina governor has served nearly two years in the post. She was the first Indian-American ever appointed to a Cabinet position in any US presidential administration.
If confirmed by the Senate, Craft, 56, would replace Haley.
“I am pleased to announce that Kelly Knight Craft, our current ambassador to Canada, is being nominated to be United States Ambassador to the United Nations,” Trump announced on Twitter.
“Kelly has done an outstanding job representing our nation and I have no doubt that, under her leadership, our country will be represented at the highest level. Congratulations to Kelly and her entire family!” Trump said.
Haley congratulated Craft shortly after the president’s online announcement.
“She’s done a great job representing us as @USAmbCanada and we know she’ll be a strong voice for America at the United Nations. #USstrong,” the former ambassador said in a tweet.
A former businesswoman, Craft is the country’s first woman ambassador to the Canada.
Craft is Trump’s second choice to replace Haley. His first choice, former State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert, withdrew her name from consideration on February 16, citing personal and family reasons.
Craft has been ambassador to Canada since October 2017. She previously served as an alternate delegate to the UN during the George W Bush administration.
During her time in Ottawa, she raised eyebrows when she said that she believes in “both sides of the science” when it comes to climate change.
Craft has also been a supporter of the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, the trade deal that was negotiated by the Trump administration to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement although not yet approved by Congress.
The Kentucky native has been married to billionaire coal mining businessman Joe Craft since 2016. The couple are both long-term and generous donors to the Republican party.