President Donald Trump on Wednesday nominated Kirstjen Nielsen to lead the Department of Homeland Security, beginning the process to fill a vacancy left by current White House chief of staff John Kelly.
In a statement, the White House said Nielsen “has extensive professional experience in the areas of homeland security policy and strategy, cybersecurity, critical infrastructure, and emergency management.”
“She is the first nominee for this position to have previously worked within the Department of Homeland Security, having served there in two administrations,” the statement noted.
Politico first reported Nielsen’s impending nomination Wednesday.
Nielsen, a longtime DHS official who shepherded Kelly though the Senate confirmation process when he was picked to lead the agency, moved to the White House with Kelly when he took the job as Trump’s chief of staff in July. She now serves as deputy White House chief of staff.
NBC News noted that Nielsen was a “key player” in Trump’s travel ban and restrictions on immigration.
Read the White House’s full press release on Nielsen’s nomination below:
President Donald J. Trump Nominates Kirstjen Nielsen as Secretary of Homeland Security
Today, President Donald J. Trump announced his intent to nominate Kirstjen Nielsen for the position of Secretary of Homeland Security. Ms. Nielsen is currently the White House principal deputy chief of staff.
Ms. Nielsen has extensive professional experience in the areas of homeland security policy and strategy, cybersecurity, critical infrastructure, and emergency management. She is the first nominee for this position to have previously worked within the Department of Homeland Security, having served there in two administrations, first as senior legislative policy director for Transportation and Security Administration under President George W. Bush and then as Department of Homeland Security Chief of Staff under President Trump. Before joining the Trump Administration, Ms. Nielsen founded a risk and security management consulting firm. She previously served as Special Assistant to the President and senior director for prevention, preparedness, and response on the White House Homeland Security Council under President George W. Bush, in addition to serving as a corporate attorney and as a congressional staff member.