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Nikki Haley, who was the final rival to former President Trump in the Republican nomination race before ending her White House bid last month, is joining a leading conservative think tank known for focusing on international affairs and national security.

Haley, the former two-term South Carolina governor who served as ambassador to the United Nations in the Trump administration, is joining the Washington, D.C.-based Hudson Institute.

“Nikki is a proven, effective leader on both foreign and domestic policy,” Hudson President and CEO John P. Walters said in a statement Monday. “In an era of worldwide political upheaval, she has remained a steadfast defender of freedom and an effective advocate for American security and prosperity. We are honored to have her join the Hudson team.”

During her White House bid, Haley advocated a muscular U.S. foreign policy to deal with global hot spots such as the war between Russia and Ukraine and the fighting between Israel and Hamas, often offering a stark contrast with Trump’s American First agenda of keeping the nation out of international entanglements.


Nikki Haley, former governor of South Carolina and 2024 Republican presidential candidate, during an election night watch party in Charleston, South Carolina, on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024. (Christian Monterrosa/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Haley traded fire over America’s overseas role with rival Vivek Ramanswamy, an advocate of Trump’s America First philosophy, during the GOP presidential primary debates. 

“When our policymakers fail to call out our enemies or acknowledge the importance of our alliances, the world is less safe. That is why Hudson’s work is so critical,” Haley said. “They believe the American people should have the facts and policymakers should have the solutions to support a secure, free, and prosperous future. I look forward to partnering with them to defend the principles that make America the greatest country in the world.”


Haley, who received the Hudson Institute’s global leadership award in 2018 during her tenure as U.N. ambassador, will serve as the institute’s Walter P. Stern Chair. According to the Hudson Institute, the position was created four years ago to commemorate a former chair “who was instrumental in making Hudson one of Washington’s most respected research organizations.”

The institute emphasized that “it is fitting that Nikki has taken on this title” because “she is a courageous and insightful policymaker.”

Nikki Haley 2024 Charleston S.C.

Nikki Haley announced her 2024 bid for President in Charleston, South Carolina, in front of a crowd of several hundred supporters. (Fox News)

Haley launched her presidential campaign in February of last year, becoming the first major candidate to challenge Trump, who had announced his candidacy three months earlier. Additionally, she was the final rival to Trump, battling the former president in a two-candidate showdown from the New Hampshire primary in late January through Super Tuesday in early March.


Haley announced that she was suspending her White House campaign on March 6, the day Trump swept 14 of 15 GOP nominating contests on Super Tuesday.

However, Haley made it clear when she exited the Republican presidential nomination race that she intends to keep speaking out.

Nikki Haley announces she is suspending her campaign for president

Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks as she announces she is suspending her campaign, in Charleston, South Carolina, March 6, 2024. (REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

“While I will no longer be a candidate, I will not stop using my voice for the things I believe in,” she emphasized as she spoke at her presidential campaign headquarters on Daniel Island, in her hometown of Charleston.

To date, Haley has declined to endorse Trump.

“It is now up to Donald Trump to earn the votes of those in our party and beyond it who did not support him. And I hope he does that,” Haley said last month, as she pointed to those who supported her during her White House run.

“This is now his time for choosing,” she emphasized.

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