Who is Kirstjen Nielsen, Trump's Reported Pick for Secretary of Homeland Security?

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Jordan’s King Abdullah II at the Palace Hotel during the United Nations General Assembly Wednesday Sept. 20 2017 in New York

Evan Vucci AP

President Donald Trump plans to nominate Kirstjen Nielsen, a top aide to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, to head the Homeland Security Department, an administration official said.

Politico first reported Trump had chosen Nielsen. The Washington Post and Associated Press later published similar reports, as did other outlets.

Nielsen, a cybersecurity expert who served as Kelly's chief of staff when he was DHS secretary, accompanied him to the White House as his deputy and quickly emerged as a controversial presence.

The White House hasn't made an official announcement on Nielsen's nomination as of publication.

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NBC News noted that Nielsen was a "key player" in Trump's travel ban and restrictions on immigration.

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.

Following Kelly's move, Elaine Duke was named acting secretary and has coordinated the department's efforts in the wake of three major hurricanes, the largest mass shooting in modern American history and an ongoing debate over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy. But he would also remove from his White House a person who brought a regimented style to a freewheeling and often dysfunctional West Wing, much to the chagrin of some senior officials and people close to the president who chafed under her dictates.

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