President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday selected two prominent Republican women for Cabinet-level positions, adding diversity to an inner circle that was already coming under fire for being composed mostly of white men.
In a potentially controversial choice, Trump intends to nominate billionaire philanthropist Betsy DeVos for education secretary, people familiar with the selection said, turning to a conservative activist who has forcefully pushed for private school voucher programs.
Hours earlier, Trump had announced that he will fill the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations slot with South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, a rising Republican star and daughter of Indian immigrants.
Haley’s nomination had marked Trump’s first female appointment to a Cabinet-level post and comes as his advisers are seeking to diversify the incoming administration’s ranks. Haley, a former Trump critic, is generally considered a mainstream Republican, with views on military and national security matters that fall within the GOP’s hawkish mainstream. She has little foreign policy experience.
“Governor Haley has a proven track record of bringing people together regardless of background or party affiliation to move critical policies forward for the betterment of her state and our country,” Trump said in a statement. “She will be a great leader representing us on the world stage.”