President Trump intends to nominate his current deputy chief of staff Kirstjen Nielsen to serve as secretary of Homeland Security, the White House announced Wednesday.
The DHS secretary position has been filled by acting secretary Elaine Duke ever since John Kelly left the post on July 31. Nielsen has experience working for the DHS. She served as senior legislative policy director for the Transportation and Security Administration under President George W. Bush and also served on his White House Homeland Security Council.
Before joining Kelly in the White House, she was his chief of staff at the DHS.
“Nielsen has extensive professional experience in the areas of homeland security policy and strategy, cybersecurity, critical infrastructure, and emergency management,” the White House said in a statement.
The Washington Post reported that “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.”
DHS has been an important agency in the Trump administration as it has overseen a crackdown on illegal immigration.