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13 October 2017, 12:46 | Elsie Buchanan
Jabin Botsford The Washington Post via Getty
USA first lady Melania Trump arrives for an event October 12, 2017 at the White House in Washington, DC, where President Donald Trump nominated Kirstjen Nielsen as his new Secretary of Homeland Security Secretary.
Nielsen is now the White House principal deputy chief of staff.
"There, she quickly reinforced a sterling reputation as a dedicated leader whose No. 1 priority is always the safety and security of our country and our citizens, not politics of ideology".
Her nomination must now be confirmed by a vote in the Senate.
In accepting the nomination, Nielsen said she hopes to "live up to the standards the American people expect and deserve". If all moves according to plan, she will be taking up the position eventually replacing John F. Kelly who has been serving as the White House chief of staff.
Kirstjen Nielsen was the choice of White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.
"Kirstjen can hit the ground running and there won't be a learning curve", Ridge said.
She is respected in Republican national security circles and is expected to face a relatively easy path to confirmation. She also created and managed the office of Legislative Policy and Government Affairs at the Transportation Security Administration.
Johnson said he would work closely with the administration and the panel's ranking member, Sen. Before she worked in the Trump administration, Nielsen founded a risk and security management consulting firm.
The big question is on whether or not he will succeed at sparking about order in the West Wing which is at the moment plagued by infighting and disorganization.
One former Bush administration official expressed concern over her selection, describing Nielsen as less qualified than Elaine Duke, who is now leading the department in an acting capacity.
Mr. Kelly pushed hard for her selection, making a personal appeal to Mr. Trump during a monthslong search process. "It seems like more of a lazy pick than a wide search".
While at the Bush White House she was in charge of emergency preparedness, and came in for criticism in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
The White House says Nielsen is the first Homeland Security secretary nominee to have previously worked in the department. And DHS will play a crucial role in continued recovery efforts after a particularly brutal hurricane season that devastated parts of Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. She was forced to clarify her claim last month that the federal response to Maria is "a good news story".
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