Donald Trump taps South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley to be the US Ambassador to the United Nations, according to an announcement by the Trump transition team.
Haley becomes the first face of diversity in the Trump team as she is younger than most of Trump's appointees thus far (44 years old), female and the daughter of Indian immigrants.
She has been considered a rising star in the Republican party, currently serving her second term as governor of South Carolina.
Haley comes as somewhat of a surprise pick in that she campaigned for Sen. Marco Rubio during the Republican primary, and ultimately endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz for the GOP nod.
Trump has been critical of Haley along the way:
The people of South Carolina are embarrassed by Nikki Haley!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 1, 2016
In January, Trump characterized Haley's position on immigration as "weak" after the South Carolina governor welcomed properly vetted legal immigrants into her state.
In a statement released Wednesday, Haley said the US "faces enormous challenges" both at home and internationally. She cited a "sense of duty" in accepting Trump's offer.
"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," Haley said. "The second is a satisfaction with all that we have achieved in our state in the last six years and the knowledge that we are on a very strong footing."
Haley was also among those being considered by Trump for secretary of state. Her pick leaves former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani and a handful of others among those still in the running for the top diplomat position.
Haley will keep serving as governor until the Senate confirms her nomination.