Kirstjen Nielsen Confirmed as Homeland Security Secretary

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U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow issued the following statement upon Senate confirmation of Kirstjen Nielsen as Homeland Security Secretary.

Nielsen's appointment comes after President Donald Trump nominated her to replace former boss John Kelly, who moved to become Trump's chief of staff.

Nielsen previously served as chief of staff to Kelly and as senior legislative policy director for the department's Transportation and Security Administration (TSA).

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"There will be no on-the-job training for Kirstjen", Trump said when he announced her nomination in October, praising her "sterling reputation".

Harris also said she was troubled by Nielsen's failure to acknowledge at her confirmation hearing how human behavior contributes to climate change. Some in Congress still have their doubt about the politics behind the move and whether she has what it takes to lead DHS.

Kirstjen Nielsen was confirmed by the Senate to take over as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. "[She] will be charged with leading the department at a critical time", he said from the Senate floor. "With her understanding of the challenges facing our nation and her experience in prevention and preparedness, I believe that she will excel as the next Secretary of Homeland Security".

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But Democrats raised concerns during her confirmation hearing about her lack of leadership experience, noting that DHS is a sprawling agency with roughly 240,000 employees.

"As our country continues to face ever-evolving threats at home and overseas, it is critical - now more than ever - that we have an experienced and apolitical leader at the Department of Homeland Security to work with us in our efforts to keep New Hampshire and the United States safe, secure, and free", said Sen.

An attorney and cybersecurity expert, Nielsen will be the first DHS secretary with previous experience working at the agency.

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"Ms. Nielsen has been engaged in counterterrorism, all-hazard risk mitigation, critical infrastructure protection, and response policy from the earliest days of what we now know as homeland security", the former officials wrote in a letter to the Senate Homeland Security Committee.

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