Washington D.C. [United States], Oct 13: United States President Donald Trump has nominated Kirstjen Nielsen as the next Homeland Security Secretary after John Kelly left the department to become White House chief of staff in July.
Prior to coming to the White House, Nielsen was Kelly's Chief of Staff while he served as the department's Secretary.
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, who now serves a Chief of Staff John Kelly's deputy, will likely be approved by the upper chamber. "And I know you will never waver in fulfilling your obligations to the citizens, the laws and the country we all took an oath to protect", Trump said.
Nielsen acknowledged Thursday that she will be taking the reins during a hard period. "Mr. President, if confirmed, it will be the highest honor of my life to again work with and support these remarkable public servants and to continue to serve all of the American people".
But even before Trump formally announced Nielsen's appointment during an East Room ceremony that was attended by much of the Cabinet and senior members of the White House staff, the top Democrat on a key committee signaled that he had questions about Nielsen's background.
Nielsen has drawn some criticism as she and Kelly have tried to bring order to Trump's chaotic administration.
Administration officials were optimistic the confirmation process would move fairly quickly, with senators voting to install Nielsen in the role within a month.
Duke received praise for her handling of hurricanes that hit Texas and Florida, but has come under fire over the devastation in Puerto Rico.
Nielsen also held multiple government positions during George W. Bush's presidency.