At 39, Nimrata ‘Nikki’ Randhawa Haley is America’s youngest governor. And the South Carolina leader has many firsts to her credit. She is not only the first Indian American but also the first Asian American and the first woman chief executive of one the country’s most conservative states.
She has clearly proved that an Indian-American can be a game changer where race and gender are concerned. And now with a clear-eyed agenda for America, she’s thinking of revisiting her roots. In October, she plans to visit India and her focus is clear. She has her eyes fixed on Indian companies — to convince them to invest in South Carolina.
A daughter of Professor Ajit and Raj Randhawa, who have lived in South Carolina for nearly four decades, Haley’s last trip to India was when she was two. Haley said she discussed her trip with Indian Ambassador Meera Shankar, who attended her inauguration ceremony in January.
Last month, Haley was adjudged the 2010 Person of the Year by India Abroad, the leading Indian American newspaper headquartered in New York that is owned by rediff.com.
In an exclusive interview with rediff.com the Indian-American governor talks about the purpose of her India visit, the 2012 presidential polls, her relation with Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, her strong objections to United States President Barack Obama’s health care plans and more.