South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley will serve as US ambassador to the United Nations.While charter school advocate Betsy DeVos will lead the Department of Education.The appointments of Mrs Haley and Mrs DeVos will need to be approved by the Republican-controlled Senate.
The choice of Haley as UN ambassador has been met with a sense of relief in some circles, according to BBC UN correspondent Nick Bryant.Senior diplomats had “expected president-elect Trump to downgrade the job of UN ambassador so that it was no longer a cabinet-level position”, he says. With the choice of a “political heavyweight” for the role is seen as an “early indication than the incoming administration will take the UN more seriously”.
Governor Nikki Haley said she loved her South Carolina post but ‘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.’
The appointments of Mrs Haley and Mrs DeVos will need to be approved by the Republican-controlled Senate.
President-elect Donald Trump calls out to the media as he and Betsy DeVos pose
DeVos, like Trump, is new to government but has spent decades working to change America’s system of public education.
They are the first women selected for top-level administration posts as the president-elect works to shape a White House team from scratch.
DeVos, from Michigan, is a long-time advocate for charter schools and school vouchers. She leads the advocacy group American Federation for Children.
“Together, we can work to make transformational change that ensures every student in America has the opportunity to fulfil his or her highest potential.”
The DeVos family has been active in Republican politics for decades, especially as donors to GOP candidates and the Republican Party.
DeVos’ husband Dick is an heir to the Amway fortune and a former president of the company.
Hours before the DeVos pick was announced, conservative policy leader Frank Cannon, president of American Principles Project, called her “an establishment, pro-Common Core secretary of education”.
President elect Trump, however, said Mrs DeVos would be “a brilliant and passionate education advocate”.Her husband is heir to the Amway fortune, with a wealth estimated by Forbes at $5.1bn (£4.1bn).