Senate Confirms Kirstjen Nielsen to Lead DHS

| DEC 5, 2017 | 11:43 PM
Kristjen Nielsen World Economic Forum

World Economic Forum/Flickr

On Tuesday, the Senate voted to confirm Kirstjen Nielsen to lead the department in charge of the country's natural disaster preparation, domestic counterterrorism, immigration, and border security.

Nielsen, according to The New York Times, faced scrutiny over her lack of experience supervising large organizations, but she received the Senate Homeland Security Committee's bipartisan support in November and got approval on a 62-37 vote.

Part of her responsibilities will include hiring 15,000 new agents for Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Border Patrol, an agency that reportedly sees quick turnover among its employees.

She will replace acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke, who took over the department after Nielsen's boss, White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, left in July.

The White House announced Nielsen's nomination in October and touted her professional experience “in the areas of homeland security policy and strategy, cybersecurity, critical infrastructure, and emergency management.”

Nielsen previously served as a Transportation Security Administration official and Kelly's chief of staff when he headed the department. Under former President George W. Bush, Nielsen served on the Homeland Security Council, which reported on lessons from how the federal government responded to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.