The Double Life of Nikki Haley

Is Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations a dedicated fighter for human rights or a retail politician looking for any issue that advances her career?

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley at a U.N. Security Council meeting in New York on Dec. 18, 2017. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley at a U.N. Security Council meeting in New York on Dec. 18, 2017. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley at a U.N. Security Council meeting in New York on Dec. 18, 2017. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

As the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley is one of the few figures in Donald Trump's administration who seems to have mastered the ability to make her own mark — without provoking a public rebuke from the president.

How has she mastered this balancing act in what is arguably the most volatile presidential administration in U.S. history?

In recent weeks, Foreign Policy’s Colum Lynch has published two articles examining Haley’s career. The first is a profile of Haley’s political ascendance, looking at how she has possibly used the U.N. as a stepping stone to the White House. The second, appearing in FP’s April print magazine, looks at her record on human rights.

As the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley is one of the few figures in Donald Trump’s administration who seems to have mastered the ability to make her own mark — without provoking a public rebuke from the president.

How has she mastered this balancing act in what is arguably the most volatile presidential administration in U.S. history?

In recent weeks, Foreign Policy’s Colum Lynch has published two articles examining Haley’s career. The first is a profile of Haley’s political ascendance, looking at how she has possibly used the U.N. as a stepping stone to the White House. The second, appearing in FP’s April print magazine, looks at her record on human rights.

Lynch reveals a portrait of a politician who may be willing to promote human rights when it’s useful but whose eye is ultimately on something else. It has become “increasingly obvious that [Haley] is running for something … [but that] means she is up to more than promoting the U.S. interest at the U.N.,” one U.N. Security Council diplomat told Lynch.

Is Haley interested in human rights? And will we see a Haley presidential campaign in 2020? And why was Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s portrait never hung at the U.S. Mission to the U.N. in New York?

Colum Lynch is FP’s award-winning U.N.-based senior diplomatic reporter. Follow him on Twitter at: @columlynch.

Sarah Wildman is FP’s deputy editor for print. She is the author of Paper Love: Searching for the Girl My Grandfather Left Behind. Follow her on Twitter at: @SarahAWildman.

Sharon Weinberger is FP’s executive editor for news. She is the author of The Imagineers of War: The Untold Story of DARPA, the Pentagon Agency That Changed the World. Follow her on Twitter at: @weinbergersa.

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