December 21, 2017– Georgetown alumna Kirstjen M. Nielsen (SFS’94) now heads the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
The U.S. Senate confirmed Nielsen’s appointment as the sixth Secretary of Homeland Security on Dec. 5, with a swearing-in a ceremony that took place the following day.
Prior to being confirmed to the Cabinet post, Nielsen served as Principal Deputy White House Chief of Staff to President Donald Trump, and before that as Chief of Staff to John F. Kelly during his brief term as DHS Secretary.
Trump nominated Nielsen this past October after Kelly stepped down as DHS Secretary in July.
“It is my greatest honor to serve as Secretary alongside the remarkable men and women of DHS,” stated Nielsen in a press release issued by the department. “Our nation faces a complex threat landscape that is constantly evolving. I will do my utmost to ensure that the Department meets the threats of today and tomorrow, and to ensure our frontline personnel have the tools and resources to accomplish their vital missions.”
She added that she looked forward to “continuing this Administration's work to raise the standards for the security of our homeland in all areas – including securing our borders, protecting Americans from terrorist threats, and securing our cyber networks.”
Nielsen also served under President George W. Bush as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Prevention, Preparedness, and Response and on the White House Homeland Security Council.
She also has served as a Senior Fellow for the Center for Cyber & Homeland Security at George Washington University, as president of Sunesis Consulting, LLC, and as former president and general counsel, Homeland and National Security Solutions, Civitas Group.
A humanities and international affairs major at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, Nielsen also holds a J.D. from the University of Virginia.