Kirstjen Nielsen, John Kelly's principal deputy chief of staff, has been nominated to serve as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.
Before her time in the private sector, she served during the President George W. Bush administration as special assistant to the president and as senior director for prevention, preparedness and response at the White House Homeland Security Council.
Nielsen, 45, served as Kelly's chief of staff at the Department of Homeland Security at the start of the administration and was a key player in the rollout of the president's immigration crackdown and travel ban.
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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.
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly walks with Kirstjen Nielsen, then chief of staff at the Department of Homeland Security, on August 22.
Mr. Trump could announce his choice as soon as Wednesday, the people said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to make it public.
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Added Frances Townsend, her boss at the White House during the Bush administration: "She is tough as nails, competent and has rightly earned the president's respect".
It's reported that Nielsen's appointment came after Kelly gave her a shining recommendation.
Duke was criticized in September when she described Hurricane Maria relief efforts in Puerto Rico - where a large majority of the population still lacks electricity - as a "good news story". The department also is responsible for USA border security. "I think her no-nonsense, business-like manner is what earned the confidence, first of General Kelly, and now the President".
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