TRUMP NOMINATES NIELSEN TO HEAD HOMELAND SECURITY
President Donald Trump introduced his pick to lead the Department of Homeland Security on Thursday, formally nominating White House staffer and cybersecurity expert Kirstjen Nielsen.
“I share the president’s profound commitment to the security of our country,” she said at a brief White House ceremony. “Truly, there is nothing more valuable than to feel secure in your homeland.”
Nielsen was the favorite of White House chief of staff John Kelly, and her nomination is another sign of the former Marine Corps general’s effort to impose a more conventional, professional management regime on an administration with a reputation for disorder.
Nielsen was Kelly’s chief of staff when he was Homeland Security secretary, and Kelly later brought her into the same role at the White House, where some staffers came to see her as the former general’s dreaded enforcer.
If confirmed by the Senate, Nielsen would replace Acting DHS Secretary Elaine Duke, who was widely criticized for characterizing the federal government’s response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico as “a good news story.”
Nielsen, 45, is the first nominee to have previous experience at DHS. As a young attorney she drafted legislation and policy at the Transportation Security Administration, then served as a special adviser for emergency preparedness and disaster management under President George W. Bush.