Faulkner University announced Nikki R. Haley, the former United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations, as the speaker for this year’s Faulkner Annual Benefit Dinner during a press conference held on Tuesday. President Mike Williams revealed the news on Montgomery’s campus.
“We’ve been able to secure this year’s speaker, who is a true American patriot. A person who has fought to protect our enduring values and liberty,” Williams said. “She will bring to the Faulkner stage a global perspective that will enrich the understanding of all who attend the dinner. This year’s speaker is the former United States ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley.”
Williams also revealed that Faulkner University is the first to secure Haley for a speaking event since she announced her transition from the United Nations to other pursuits.
Since it began more than 40 years ago, Faulkner University’s Annual Benefit Dinner continues to be a longstanding tradition and a red-letter event on the social calendar for Montgomery and the River Region, selling out to nearly 2,000 guests. This year’s Benefit Dinner will be hosted at the Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center on October 3.
Over the years, Faulkner has brought renowned politicians, journalists, athletes, coaches, comedians and astronauts to speak in Montgomery. Haley will bring her Southern appeal as a native of South Carolina and her international experience on current issues from the United Nations to the River Region for what will be an exciting night.
“We try to bring a nationally known and provocative speaker to Montgomery. Someone who has not been to the area before and someone we think would bring a broad appeal,” Williams said. “Her insights and experiences in national and global issues will make for a really informative and enjoyable evening for everybody.”
A champion of human rights, education reform and defending American interests, Nikki R. Haley served as a member of President Donald Trump's Cabinet and the National Security Council to help keep America safe. At the United Nations, Ambassador Haley ensured the American people saw value for their investment, introducing reforms that made the organization more efficient, transparent, and accountable.
In a two-year period, she negotiated over $1.3 billion in savings, including rightsizing UN peacekeeping missions to make them more effective and targeted while improving their ability to protect civilians.
She spearheaded negotiations for the passage of the strongest set of sanctions ever placed on North Korea for its nuclear weapons program, cutting off the regime's exports by 90 percent and its access to oil by 30 percent.
She challenged human rights violators across the globe, standing up to oppressive regimes in Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, and Russia. During the U.S presidency of the UN Security Council, she hosted the first-ever session devoted solely to promoting human rights. She traveled the world visiting people oppressed by their own governments to see firsthand the challenges they face and to work with them directly on life-improving solutions—from Syrian refugees in Jordan and Turkey, to internally displaced people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan, to Venezuelan migrants walking miles every day to cross the Colombian border for food and medicine.
During her time as ambassador, the United States stood proudly with its allies, repeatedly taking a strong and principled stand against the chronic anti-Israel bias at the United Nations. In the UN Security Council, she proudly issued the first American veto in six years defending the United States’ sovereign right to move our Embassy to Jerusalem.
Born in Bamberg, South Carolina, Haley is the daughter of Indian immigrants and a proud graduate of Clemson University.
Prior to becoming the twenty-ninth U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Haley was elected in 2010 as the first female and first minority Governor of South Carolina. Reelected in 2014, she served as Governor until confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations in January of 2017.
Under Governor Haley’s leadership, South Carolina was a national leader in economic development. South Carolina’s unemployment rate hit a 15 year low, it saw over $20 billion in new capital investment, and her administration announced new jobs in every county in the state, over 85,000 total.
Governor Haley also ushered in the state's largest education reform in decades—making education funding more equitable for schools in the state's poorest communities, prioritizing reading in early grades, and equipping classrooms with the latest technology.
Tickets to hear Haley speak are on sale now. Proceeds from the dinner go to support the university, and student scholarships in particular.
“Our annual Benefit Dinner is really the signature event of the university. It’s an opportunity for us to showcase our outstanding academic programs and our distinctive Christian mission and the investment we are trying to make into this community,” Williams said. “The most important outcome of the dinner is that we raise money for students to give them more scholarships in order to provide them with a transformative experience and to prepare the new emerging generation to make a tremendous difference in our world.”
For tickets call 334-386-7257 or visit Faulkner.edu/haley.