President Donald Trump has nominated Kirstjen Nielsen, a longtime aide to chief of staff John Kelly, to head the Department of Homeland Security, the White House said on Wednesday.
In an announcement, the White House touted Nielsen's former homeland security experience, and expertise "in the areas of homeland security policy and strategy, cybersecurity, critical infrastructure, and emergency management."
The announcement noted that Nielsen is the first nominee for the position to have previously worked in the department.
The Homeland Security Department's top job has been vacant since July, when Kelly was given the chief of staff role after the ousting of his predecessor, Reince Priebus. Acting secretary Elaine Duke has been leading DHS in the meantime.
Nielsen, 45, is known for her national security and cybersecurity expertise, and previously served in the Transportation Security Administration and on the White House Homeland Security Council under the George W. Bush administration.
According to Politico, multiple Trump loyalists even privately referred to Nielsen as "Nurse Ratched," the fictional character from "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" known for her austere and corrupt influence over the mental institution she managed.
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