Trump Chooses Nielsen to Lead Department of Homeland Security

  • Nielsen had been Kelly chief of staff at Homeland Security
  • Followed Kelly to White House to serve as his main deputy

Kirstjen Nielsen

Photographer: Andrew Harnik/AP Photo

President Donald Trump announced he plans to nominate Kirstjen Nielsen, a top aide to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, to succeed him as secretary of Homeland Security, the White House said in a statement.

Nielsen had been Kelly’s chief of staff when he was secretary of Homeland Security and followed him to the White House, serving as his principal deputy there.

Nielsen, 45, has a background in cybersecurity. She previously worked as a homeland security adviser in Republican President George W. Bush’s White House and at the Transportation Security Administration.

As Kelly’s principal deputy at the White House, Nielsen quickly developed a reputation as a forceful, empowered aide who took charge of day-to-day operations, according to a New York Times profile.

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