WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump has said he has five persons in mind, including his former deputy national security adviser Dina Powell, to replace Indian-American Nikki Haley as the US ambassador to the UN.
Haley, 46, announced Tuesday she would resign from her post as the US ambassador to the UN effective at the end of 2018.
Haley’s abrupt decision left many in the White House in shock as there was no indication that she planned to leave office. Haley had submitted her resignation on October 3.
Trump said Haley would assist in the search for her replacement, and that he plans to settle on a pick in the next two to three weeks.
Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One, Trump identified only one person on the list.
He said Powell is on the short list of five persons.
Trump told reporters “we have actually many names. … Nikki is going to help us with the choice. I’ve heard a lot of names.”
Powell served in the first year of the Trump administration as the Deputy National Security Adviser for strategy, and was a key player in diplomatic efforts in the Middle East.
Haley was instrumental in planning all of Trump’s overseas trips as well as his debut at the UN General Assembly in September 2017.
Trump said that Haley would be involved with the administration for a long time even after resigning from the diplomatic position.
“Nikki is going to be involved with us for a long time. And she’s going to help me also make that final pick. We’re going to make a final pick. I want to get somebody really good,” Trump told reporters at the White House.
Haley, the highest ranking Indian-American in the Trump administration, has agreed to stay till year end as the top American diplomat to the UN.
Haley, he said would be helping him in his 2020 re-election bid.