South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley will deliver the Republican response to the State of the Union next week.
Haley will become the first South Carolinian to offer the response, which comes after she was thrust into the national spotlight following the Charleston shooting in June that left nine black churchgoers dead and led to a subsequent national debate over the Confederate Flag.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., made the announcement Tuesday.
"Nikki Haley has led an economic turnaround and set a bold agenda for her state, getting things done and becoming one of the most popular governors in America," Ryan said in a statement. "In a year when the country is crying out for a positive vision and alternative to the status quo, Governor Haley is the exact right choice to deliver the Republican Address to the Nation."
McConnell called Haley "a proven leader and committed reformer who believes deeply in the promise of the country we all share, adding she "knows the American Dream and wants to see every American share in it, and we're pleased that she will be delivering this year's Republican Address."
"I was honored to be asked by Speaker Ryan and Senator McConnell to deliver the Republican address to the nation," Haley said. "This is a time of great challenges for our country, but also of great opportunities. I intend to speak about both."
President Obama's last State of the Union speech is set for Tuesday at 9 p.m. Eastern time. Haley will speak from Columbia after his remarks conclude.
Haley, the state's first female and first minority governor, is currently the youngest governor in the country. She was reelected in November 2014 to a second term.
Buzz has increased in recent months that she may be tapped as a possible vice presidential pick.