Trump expected to pick State spokeswoman for United Nations ambassador

07 December, 2018, 08:06 | Author: Mable Gonzales
  • State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert speaks during a briefing at the State Department

President Donald Trump is expected to nominate State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert to be his new ambassador to the United Nations, positioning a relatively inexperienced newcomer in one of the most high-profile positions in USA diplomacy, according to an administration official and a second source.

She has served under two secretaries of state - Rex Tillerson and her current boss Mike Pompeo, but prior to that had little foreign policy experience.

The state department has made no comment. Formerly a Fox News anchor, sh came to the administration in 2017. Trump had already confirmed that Nauert was a "very serious consideration" in early November.

The 46-year-old former SC governor - one of the few women in the Trump cabinet - gave no reason for leaving, but dismissed speculation she was planning to run for president in 2020. The officials were not authorized to speak publicly before Trump's announcement.

She would be taking the position amid a roster of thorny global challenges, ranging from North Korea's nuclear program to Yemen's starvation and the growing divide between the U.S. and its closest allies over the Iran nuclear deal, climate change and other issues.

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If confirmed by the Senate, she would take over from outgoing ambassador Nikki Haley, who announced her resignation in October without offering details on why.

The president is weighing a number of other end-of-year staff changes, including replacing Chief of Staff John Kelly, two of Trump's advisers said on Thursday. Since mid-October, she had rarely been seen by reporters at the State Department as Palladino took the lead. She was in charge of the Global Engagement Center that fights extremist messaging from the Islamic State group and others, and she has a seat on the U.S. Agency for Global Media that oversees government broadcast networks such as Voice of America.

Haley similarly had little foreign policy experience when appointed, although she had a national name as the governor of SC.

Nauert joined the State Department past year after a career as a television anchor and correspondent at Fox News. At the time, she described her time in the position as a "blessing", but offered no reason for leaving except a belief that government officials must know "when it's time to step aside".

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