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Trump Nominates Kirstjen Nielsen As Next Homeland Security Secretary

Trump Nominates Kirstjen Nielsen As Next Homeland Security Secretary

President Donald Trump is expected to nominate Kirstjen Nielsen to be Secretary of Department of Homeland Security Thursday, two senior sources with direct knowledge of the nomination told ABC News.

Nielsen would succeed now-White House chief of staff John Kelly in the position if confirmed by the Senate.

Nielsen is an expert in homeland and national security policy and strategy, with a focus on critical infrastructure protection, according to her biography on GWU's Center for Cyber & Homeland Security. She was Kelly's top aide when the former four-star Marine general led the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) during the early months of the Trump administration.

Mr. Kelly had drafted Ms. Nielsen to be his chief of staff at the Homeland Security department, and when the president plucked him to serve in the West Wing, he brought her to the White House as his No. 2.

Other contenders for the Cabinet post included Tom Bossert, Trump's homeland security adviser, and Kevin McAleenan, the acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.




Politico first reported the appointment.

Prior to joining Kelly at Homeland Security, Nielsen was president of the firm Sunesis Consulting. Her departure leaves Kelly looking to fill another crucial administrative vacancy. People close to her "have counseled her to lighten up and to pay more attention to the perfunctory niceties of a not-so-nice-job", they wrote when she became deputy White House chief of staff. The department also is responsible for USA border security.

But Thompson said he had questions about her background, including her past work for the Bush administration.

"Kirstjen can hit the ground running and there won't be a learning curve", Ridge said.


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