Kirstjen Nielsen will serve as the DHS new chief of staff.

Nielsen previously served for six years as a senior fellow and member of the Resilience Task Force at the George Washington Unviersity’s (GWU) Center for Cyber and Homeland Security. She also served as president of Sunesis Consulting and president of the Homeland Security and Private Sector Preparedness practice at Civitas Group. She also has experience working with the White House; former President George W. Bush enlisted her services as a special assistant to the president for prevention, preparedness, and response on the White House Homeland Security Council.

“With her extensive experience in homeland security, she understands the complexity of the various agencies and policies within the Department and the larger homeland security enterprise,” said Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly in a letter to DHS employees.

Nielsen is also a recipient of Security magazine's 2016 Most Influential People in Security recognition.