Last updated on: 3/6/2024 | Author:

Nikki Haley Biography

Nikki Haley, former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. and governor of South Carolina


Candidacy announced: Apr. 25, 2023

Federal Election Committee (FEC) financial data

Source: South Carolina Governor Nikki R. Haley

Personal Life

Full Name: Nimarata Nikki Haley (née Randhawa)

Birthdate: Jan. 20, 1972

Birthplace: Bamberg, South Carolina

Marital Status: married to William Michael Haley, commissioned officer in the South Carolina Army National Guard and president of Stand for America, a policy and media organization founded by Nikki Haley




Career, Education, & Publications

Career Highlights:

  • Board of Trustees Member, Clemson University, Oct. 2021-present
  • Founder, Stand for America, 2018-present
  • Board Member, Boeing, Feb. 2019-Mar. 2020
  • U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (UN), 2017-2018
  • Governor, South Carolina, 2011-2017
  • State Representative, South Carolina House of Representatives, 2005-2011


  • BS, accounting, Clemson University, 1994

Select Publications:

  • If You Want Something Done: Leadership Lessons from Bold Women, 2022
  • A Better Blueprint for International Organizations: Advancing American Interests on the Global Stage, 2021
  • With All Due Respect: Defending America with Grit and Grace, 2019
  • Can’t Is Not an Option: My American Story, 2012

Internet & Social Media Presence

Campaign Website:




  • none found

Positions on the Issues

Should the U.S. Ban Assault Weapons?

Not Clear

“I don’t deal with hypotheticals. I’m not going to deal with hypotheticals. We’re not going to go down that route. What I will tell you is we’re going to deal with mental health once and for all.”

Editors’ Note: Haley offered the above response when asked if she would sign an assault weapons ban. 

Paul Steinhauser, “Nikki Haley Says Treating Shootings As Only a ‘Gun Issue Is the Lazy Way Out’ After Nashville School Tragedy,”, Mar. 29, 2023

Should Police Departments Be Defunded, if Not Abolished?


“I am proud to stand with our nation’s law enforcement. Violence and calls to defund the police do nothing to solve the challenges we face in our country. It’s time for our leaders to stand up to looting and rioting and work with law enforcement, not against them.” 

Heritage Action for America, “Nikki Haley Signs Heritage Action Police Pledge,”, Aug. 27, 2020

Should the Use of Private Prisons Continue?

No position found as of Oct. 31, 2023.

Should the U.S. Require Universal Background Checks for Gun Purchases?

Not Clear

“Nikki is a strong defender of the Second Amendment and fought to protect gun owners’ rights as governor. In 2012, she signed a bill that repealed many of the state’s outdated anti-gun laws. She signed reciprocity legislation with Georgia, expanded concealed carry rights to bars and restaurants, and backed the Constitutional Carry Act that would have eliminated the state’s permitting and training requirements for gun owners.”

Editors’ Note: ProCon has not found a statement from Haley about universal background checks that would allow us to mark her as against the gun control measure. However, the NRA-PVF {National Rifle Association-Political Victory Fund) endorsed Nikki Haley for South Carolina Governor in 2014 stating, “Haley rejects expanded licensing and registration schemes and so-called ‘universal’ background checks, which require federal government approval for transferring firearms between life-long friends and family members.” 

Nikki Haley, “Record of Results,” (accessed Sep. 13, 2023)
Source for Editors’ Note: NRA-PVF, “NRA Endorses Nikki Haley for Governor of South Carolina,”, Sep. 25, 2014

Should the Death Penalty Be Legal?


“We absolutely will want him [Dylann Roof] to have the death penalty. This is the worst hate that I’ve seen and that the country has seen in a long time.”

Editors’ Note: Haley is referring to the June 17, 2015 shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church (known as “Mother Emanuel”) in Charleston, South Carolina. Nine Black church members were killed and another injured.

Mark Berman, “S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley: Charleston Gunman Should Face the Death Penalty,”, June 19, 2015

Should TikTok Be Banned?


“We’re going to ban TikTok. Ban TikTok everywhere.”

Ken Tran, “Nikki Haley Wants to Ban TikTok, Not Guns: Takeaways from Her 2024 Campaign Stop in N.H.,”, Mar. 28, 2023

Should Puerto Rico Be Granted U.S. Statehood?

No position as of Nov. 7, 2023.

Should Recreational Marijuana Be Legal?

Not Clear

“I think these types of decisions are best decided at the state level. It’s where people can show the power of their voice. Some states will want to see it, and that allows them the right to do that. Some don’t want to see it, and that allows them that right. I always, especially as a governor, believe that the freedoms of people to decide what it is they want in their state are really important. We need to stay true to that.” 

Kyle Jaeger, “Republican Presidential Candidate Nikki Haley Says Marijuana Legalization Is ‘Best Decided’ at the State Level,”, May 29, 2023

Should Public Sector Employees Have the Right to Unionize?


“If you come to South Carolina [where Haley was governor], the cost of doing business is going to be low here. We are going to make sure that you have a loyal, willing workforce, and we are going to continue to be one of the lowest union-participation states in the country.” “I will continue to be a union-buster, because every time you see me on national TV busting the unions, another CEO calls [to do business in South Carolina]. It just works.”

Editors’ Note: Haley has been marked as against public sector unions because she is against all unions and prevented many from operating in South Carolina while she was governor. 

John Nichols, “Nikki Haley’s Anti-Union Fanaticism Is Wild Even for a Republican,”, Feb. 17, 2023

Should Washington, DC, Be Granted U.S. Statehood?

No position as of Aug. 31, 2023.

Should the U.S. Become Socialist?


“Last year, I said 2020 was the year socialism went mainstream,” she said. “2021 is the year socialism took control…. Capitalism is on the outs for many conservatives who should know better,” she continued. “They look at a rapidly changing world and assume our principles don’t work anymore. They see the rise of socialism and want to meet it halfway. They’re wrong. The right must recapture its passion for economic freedom…. We can add up socialism’s cost in dollars and cents, but we will never know its human cost. Socialism isn’t progressive. It’s backwards. And it has no place in America — not now, not ever.”

Breck Dumas, “‘Socialism Isn’t Progressive. It’s Backwards’: Nikki Haley,”, Nov. 3, 2021

Should the Federal Corporate Income Tax Rate Be Raised?


“The first thing we want to do is eliminate the corporate income tax. To be able to say we [South Carolina] are a right-to-work state and a no-corporate-income-tax state is going to cause businesses to want to come, and it will create jobs in the process.”

Editors’ Note: Haley stated the above while running for South Carolina governor in Aug. 2010. 

Mark Murray, “Here’s Where Nikki Haley Stands on Key Issues,”, Feb. 15, 2023

Should the Federal Minimum Wage Be Increased?


“Raising the minimum wage to $15/hr would devastate small businesses in a state like South Carolina. Invest in training, invest in education if you want to improve lives but requiring businesses to pay more when they are trying to survive Covid is just tone deaf. #CommonSense”

Nikki Haley,, Feb. 24, 2021

Should the U.S. Implement a Universal Basic Income (UBI)?

No position as of Oct. 27, 2023.

Should the Federal Government Pay Reparations to the Descendants of Enslaved People?

No position as of Sep. 7, 2023.

Should Public College Be Tuition-Free?

No position found as of Sep. 29, 2023.

Should Parents or Other Adults Be Able to Ban Books from Schools and Libraries?


“We’re excited to partner with Tiffany Justice and Moms for Liberty. This is a group that many have said are extreme. And I’ve said if this is extreme, count me in because this is about parents getting control of their children again…. We don’t want to give custody of our kids to the teachers’ unions. We deserve to know what’s happening in schools, and we should get complete transparency in the classroom. No parent should ever wonder what’s being said or taught to their child in the classroom, and that’s the case right now. And you look at Tiffany and what she’s done with Moms for Liberty. She’s given the voices back to parents. Parents are fighting back.”

Editors’ Note: Moms for Liberty takes issue with the phrase “book bans,” preferring “parental rights.” However, the group promotes a “Model Parents’ Bill of Rights” that includes the following, which fits the standard definition of “book banning”: “Each district school board shall, in consultation with parents, teachers, and administrators, develop and adopt a policy to promote parental involvement in the public school system. Such policy must include:… (c) Procedures for a parent to object to instructional materials and other materials used in the classroom. Such objections may be based on beliefs regarding morality, sex, and religion or the belief that such materials are harmful. For purposes of this section, the term “instructional materials” has the same meaning as in [cite to relevant statute, if applicable] and may include other materials used in the classroom, including workbooks and worksheets, handouts, software, applications, and any digital media made available to students.” 

Brooke Singman and Paul Steinhauser, “Biden Campaign Takes Aim at Nikki Haley on Education,”, Sep. 6, 2023
Source for Editors’ Note: Moms for Liberty, “Model Parents’ Bill of Rights,” (accessed Sep. 8, 2023)

Should Any Amount of Student Loan Debt Be Eliminated via Forgiveness or Bankruptcy?

Not Clear

“And for some Americans who have housing prices coupled with student loans and we have people decades after they graduate, they’re still paying off these loans. And so regardless of what the [U.S. Supreme Court] forgiveness decision will be, the cost is still gonna be there. And I think, I think one way is stop the interest. Um you know, don’t put interest on student loan until after the person finishes their schooling. You know, because if they borrow it, their freshman year, they’re already accruing more interest and it’s getting bigger. Why don’t we just go if we lend it to them, let it hold and then once they graduate, give them the ability to make it pay it back but not already have this balloon loan that they got because the interest was just accruing the whole time on one thing.”- 

WMUR, “Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley Answers Questions Focused on Topics Popular among Young Voters,”, May. 31, 2023

Should Felons Regain the Right to Vote?

No position as of Dec. 14, 2023.

Should Voters Be Required to Show Photo Identification to Vote?


“I’ve never seen the voter ID as a racial issue. I see is it’s an issue where people prove who they are, and I think that’s something very important for our democracy.”

Dan Cooney, “South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley Calls Roof’s Background Check Failure an ‘FBI Issue,’”, June 12, 2015

Should the Voting Age Be Lowered to 16?

No position as of Sep. 8, 2023.

Should the Federal Government Intervene to Lower Prescription Drugs Costs?

No position found as of Sep. 26, 2023.

Should Abortion Be Legal?

Not Clear

“I’ve said it before. I think you have to be honest with the American people. This is a personal issue for every woman and every man. I am unapologetically pro-life, not because the Republican Party tells me to be, but because my husband Michael was adopted and I had trouble having both of my children. So I’m surrounded by blessings. Having said that, when you look post-Roe, a wrong was made right. They took it out of the hands of unelected justices and they put it in the hands of the people and now we’re seeing states vote. And what I’ll tell you is as much as I’m pro-life, I don’t judge anyone for being pro-choice and I don’t want them to judge me for being pro-life. So when we’re looking at this, there are some states that are going more on the pro-life side. I welcome that there’s some states that are going more on the pro-choice side. I wish that wasn’t the case, but the people decided.

But when it comes to the federal law, which is what’s being debated here, be honest, it’s going to take 60 Senate votes, a majority of the House and a president to sign it. So we haven’t had 60 Senate votes in over a hundred years. We might have 45 pro-life senators. So no Republican president can ban abortions any more than a Democrat president can ban these state laws. So let’s find consensus. Let’s agree on how we can ban late term abortions. Let’s make sure we encourage adoptions and good quality adoptions. Let’s make sure we make contraception accessible. Let’s make sure that none of these state laws put a woman in jail or give her the death penalty for getting an abortion. Let’s focus on how to save as many babies as we can and support as many moms as we can and stop the judgment. We don’t need to divide America over this issue anymore.” 

Rev, “RNC Third Republican Presidential Primary Debate Transcript,”, Nov. 9, 2023

Should the U.S. Continue Constructing a U.S./Mexico Border Wall?


“We need to finish what we started.”

Editors’ Note: Haley stated the above while pointing to a portion of the border wall.

Nikki Haley,, Apr. 3, 2023

Should the U.S. Maintain Birthright Citizenship?


“For the 5 million people who’ve entered our country illegally, I am against birthright citizenship. For those that are in this country legally, of course, I think we go according to the Constitution, and that’s fine. It’s the illegal immigration that we have to make sure that just because they get here if they have a child, you’re just building on the problems … if you’re making those children’s citizens and then allowing them to stay because of that.” 

Lindsey McPherson, “Nikki Haley Says Children of Undocumented Immigrants Should Be Denied Birthright Citizenship,”, July 2, 2023

Should the U.S. Government Provide a Path to Citizenship for Undocumented Immigrants?


“I think there’s legal immigration that we can focus on at the same time. And I think that needs to be focused on what does our country need. Let’s do it by merit. Let’s do it by talent. Let’s do it based on what the businesses need. But let’s not do it just because people happen to cross the fence and get away. Let’s not do it because we have crowded facilities and we can’t hold anymore. That’s the wrong way to go about it. We have to make sure this is a national security issue. We have to vet them, we have to know exactly who’s coming in here. Iran has said that the easiest way to get into America is through the southern border. We shouldn’t wait for another 9/11 to realize that Republicans and Democrats have to get in a room and figure out immigration reform and start working for the American people instead of the other way around.”

Face the Nation, “Transcript: Nikki Haley on ‘Face the Nation,’ May 14, 2023,”, May 14, 2023

Should Humans Colonize Space?

No position as of Dec. 14, 2023.

Should the Government Regulate Social Media Sites to Protect Kids and Teens?

No position as of Nov. 7, 2023.

Is Artificial Intelligence Good for Society?

No position found as of July 19, 2023.