SALT LAKE CITY — Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.’s name has come up as a possible replacement for United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, who announced her resignation this week.
Political analyst Tom Rogan lists Huntsman, the U.S. ambassador to Russia, among three people whom President Donald Trump should “strongly” consider for the job. The others are Heather Nauert, undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs, and U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell.
Rogan writes in an opinion piece for the Washington Examiner that Huntsman is respected across the Republican Party and by Democrats. He notes that Huntsman served as ambassador to China under former President Barack Obama.
"In that regard, Huntsman has personal experience dealing with America's two chief adversaries on the U.N. Security Council. That would give Huntsman a good grounding to win easy confirmation to the U.N. position, and the understanding necessary to hit the ground running,” Rogan wrote.
The U.S. can’t afford to have an inexperienced ambassador at the U.N. with so many important foreign police issues on the table, he said.
Huntsman has served as the U.S. envoy in Moscow since last October. He joined Trump at the Helsinki summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in July.
Huntsman was the U.S. ambassador to China from 2009 to 2011 and the U.S. ambassador to Singapore from 1992 to 1993. He also has worked in the administration of five presidents and ran for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012.
Haley, the former South Carolina governor, announced Tuesday that she would leave by the end of the year.
Trump has a list of contenders to succeed Haley, but has not shared it widely with even the most senior White House officials, one senior White House official told CNN.
Trump's former deputy national security adviser Dina Powell, senior adviser and daughter of the president Ivanka Trump and Grenell are among possible replacements.
"We actually have many names," Trump told reporters on the South Lawn after Haley's resignation announcement.
Trump later said on Air Force One during his trip to Iowa that he has five people on his shortlist, but Grenell isn't one of them.