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Cherith Norman Chalet, a 1994 graduate of Wilson Christian Academy, has been named representative of the United States of America to the United Nations for U.N. Management and Reform, with the full rank of ambassador.
Chalet was sworn in Monday at the U.S. Department of State in Washington.
“She works directly as an ambassador directly under (U.N. Ambassador) Nikki Haley and she does have full ambassador status,” said Scott Norman of Wilson, who is the new ambassador’s father. “She is no different than if she were the ambassador to Great Britain.”
Norman and Chalet’s mother, Marilee, both faculty members at Wilson Christian Academy, went to the nation’s capital to see the historic ceremony.
“It was a wonderful time,” said Norman. “We did get to go up to that and had an opportunity to meet Ambassador Haley and that was quite a joy.”
Norman described the event as “surreal.”
“As parents, as we sat in a special section in the State Department during the ceremony, I continued to ask myself, ‘Is this really happening? Are we really here?’” Norman said.
Chalet’s husband George Chalet and their three children, Nicholai, Cara and Madeline, were present on stage as Haley administered the oath.
In the picture of the swearing-in, Haley is holding a child.
“This is my youngest grandchild,” Norman explained. “She is quite young and she was sitting with us and when Mom was on the stage with the ambassador. She started crying and it really kind of disrupted everything. Everybody handled it perfectly well, so we took her up on the stage and all during the speeches, my daughter held her, but when it was her time to get up and give her speech and then be sworn in, they tried to give her to Dad and she wouldn’t have it. Nikki Haley stuck out her arms and she went right to her, so Nikki Haley held my granddaughter during part of the ceremony, which is just amazing because we learned a side of our ambassador to the U.N. that we obviously didn’t know before and she is just a very gracious, personable lady, very graceful.”
“She is both a tough negotiator and proven performer,” Haley said of Chalet in a Twitter post. “We couldn’t ask for a better representative to fight waste and abuse while advocating for America’s best interest at the U.N.”
Chalet graduated in 1998 from Bob Jones University with a bachelor’s degree in political science.
Early in her career, Chalet served U.S. Rep. Jim DeMint in Greenville, South Carolina, from 1999 to 2003.
“He had recommended her to a position in the State Department and she took that position several years ago,” Norman said. “She served as the liaison between the State Department and the United States Congress, so any time there were any dealings between Congress and the State Department, she was the go-between. So she got to know most of the senators and representatives in a very real way as they came to her for many things.”
About 10 years ago, a position at the United Nations opened up, Norman explained.
“Several of the congressmen and senators from both sides of the aisle recommended her to take that position,” Norman said. “She started out in one of the offices of management and she has worked her way up,” Norman said.
In February of this year, President Trump appointed Chalet to the ambassadorship to the United Nations for management and reform.
“This appointment took her to ambassador status which meant that she would serve directly under Nikki Haley, the full ambassador,” Norman said. “In July of this year, the Senate confirmation hearings took place and she came through that wonderfully. It was a tough meeting. I think the questions were fair and just, but she handled herself very well, and she got the full approval of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. There was some delay on bringing her name and her nomination to the floor for a full Senate vote, but that finally took place on Sept. 12.
“She had wide support on both sides of the aisle,” Norman said. “That’s how well she has handled herself over the years, so that is what has put her in this position.”
Chalet, a career appointee, was confirmed by unanimous vote of the U.S. Senate.
“When this position came open for the ambassadorship, even Ambassador Haley said herself there was no other choice,” Norman said. “ Her name was put to the president, the president appointed her and the rest is history.”
Chalet’s mother Marilee Norman is the librarian at Wilson Christian Academy and Scott Norman teaches classes on U.S. history, finance and the Bible.
Norman said it’s exciting to explain history to his students and now even more special because his daughter is part of that history.
“It’s exciting to tell them about it. It’s exciting to take what I teach and put it into a certain amount of reality in our own lives, but yeah, we still haven’t gotten over it. We are very proud of her and it’s quite an honor,” Norman said. “This whole thing is still quite surreal to me, but we are quite proud of her and we are very thankful that the Lord has brought her this far as far as her career and her choices in life.”