Nikki R. Haley
Governor of South Carolina
South Carolina is on the move under the leadership of Nikki R. Haley.
Since the governor took office in 2011, the state has announced more than 80,000 jobs in 45 of 46 counties, and South Carolina’s unemployment rate has hit a 15 year record low.
One of the strongest fiscal conservatives in Columbia, Governor Haley has championed transparency and accountability in state government. The governor led the fight – first as a House member and then as governor – to put legislative votes on the record for the first time so that citizens can see exactly how legislators are spending their tax dollars. And she signed into law once-in-a-generation government restructuring bill that finally makes the Executive Branch truly accountable for its operations.
Restoring the people's faith in government through ethics reform has been one of Governor Haley’s highest priorities. In 2016, after a four year fight, the governor signed into law the most significant ethics reforms in 25 years. Those reforms include income disclosure for public officials and independent investigations of ethics complaints against legislators, and they will remind elected officials that they work for the people, not the other way around.
Governor Haley brought together leaders – Republicans and Democrats, educators and administrators, parents and business leaders alike – to pass landmark education reforms where they were needed most: making education funding more equitable for schools in our poorest communities, prioritizing reading instruction in the early grades, and improving technology in classrooms.
In 2015, Governor Haley led South Carolina through one of its most difficult periods, forging unity and consensus in the wake of tragedy at Charleston’s Emanuel A.M.E. Church, the removal of the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds, and the record breaking 1,000-year flood that devastated the state.
Born in Bamberg, the daughter of Indian immigrants, Governor Haley’s first job was keeping the books for her family’s clothing store —at the age of 13. She is a proud graduate of Clemson University where she earned a degree in accounting.
Governor Haley and her husband, Michael, a Captain in the Army National Guard and combat veteran who was deployed to Afghanistan’s Helmand Province, attend Mt. Horeb United Methodist Church in Lexington. The Haleys have two children, Rena, 18, and Nalin, 15.