Trump's cabinet picks so far - a quick guide

2016-12-15 07:09
President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence acknowledge the crowd during the first stop of his post-election tour in Cincinnati. (John Minchillo, AP)

President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence acknowledge the crowd during the first stop of his post-election tour in Cincinnati. (John Minchillo, AP)

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Washington - US President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday nominated former Texas governor Rick Perry to be his secretary of energy.

The following is a list of key cabinet and other nominations made so far by Trump, who takes office on January 20:

- Cabinet -

State: Rex Tillerson, 64

The silver-haired president and CEO of ExxonMobil, who has never worked in government, could face a difficult confirmation battle due to his close ties to Russia's Vladimir Putin. Tillerson has spent his entire career at Exxon, working his way up from being a production engineer to running the massive company.

Treasury: Steven Mnuchin, 53

The Wall Street veteran was a partner at Goldman Sachs before he launched an investment fund backed by Democratic Party supporter George Soros and financed Hollywood blockbusters like "Avatar" and "Suicide Squad."

Defence: James Mattis, 66

A retired four star Marine general, Mattis commanded US forces in the Middle East and Southwest Asia from 2010 to 2013, capping a career as a combat commander that earned him the nickname "Mad Dog." A scholar of warfare, he is said to have a particular interest in the challenge posed by Iran. To become secretary of defence, Mattis would have to get a congressional waiver from a law that bars generals from serving as defence secretary for seven years after leaving active duty.

Attorney General: Jeff Sessions, 69

One of Trump's earliest supporters during the campaign, the anti-immigration senator from Alabama has a much criticised record on race relations and was once denied a judgeship amid concerns over past comments about blacks. The attorney general heads the department of justice.

Homeland Security: John Kelly, 66

The retired Marine general most recently led the US Southern Command, which covers US military operations in Central and South America. He is expected to be very tough on illegal immigration and the illicit drugs trade. He also has been shaped by the death of his son, a Marine, in Afghanistan in 2010.

Commerce: Wilbur Ross, 79

A US investor and billionaire, Ross is best known for buying failing steel and coal firms and selling them for profit. He was once known as the "king of bankruptcy" for his history of investing in such businesses.

Education: Betsy DeVos, 58

A wealthy activist and Republican megadonor from Michigan, DeVos is a champion of alternatives to local government schools, backing a movement that advocates the use of tax credits and vouchers to allow parents to opt out of the public school system.

Energy: Rick Perry, 66

The former Texas governor, a onetime rival of Trump for the Republican presidential nomination, once vowed to eliminate the department he has now been asked to run. Perry, a US Air Force veteran who grew up in a farming family, took part this autumn in the latest season of ABC's "Dancing with the Stars."

Health and Human Services: Tom Price, 62

The Georgia lawmaker and former orthopedic surgeon is a robust critic of President Barack Obama's signature health care reform law, the Affordable Care Act, which has provided health coverage to 20 million Americans.

Housing and Urban Development: Ben Carson, 65

The retired neurosurgeon and onetime rival to Trump for the Republican presidential nomination is so far the only African American named to Trump's cabinet. The religious conservative with no experience in elective office, who grew up poor in Detroit, will be tasked with turning around America's troubled inner cities.

Labor: Andrew Puzder, 66

The chief executive of CKE Restaurants, which owns fast food chains Carl's Jr and Hardee's, is opposed to raising the national minimum wage. He also backs the increasing use of automated technology to keep labour costs down.

Transportation: Elaine Chao, 63

The Taiwan-born former US labor secretary under president George W. Bush also served as the deputy secretary of transportation in his administration. She was the first Asian-American woman to serve in the cabinet and is the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

- Top positions with Cabinet-rank status -

White House Chief of Staff: Reince Priebus, 44

Head of the Republican National Committee, Priebus is a seasoned political operative who can build bridges between Trump and a skittish Republican leadership, particularly House Speaker Paul Ryan, a longtime ally.

Environmental Protection Agency: Scott Pruitt, 48

The attorney general for the state of Oklahoma is a known climate change skeptic, and an ally of the fossil fuel industry. Before accepting the nomination, Pruitt spent much time battling the agency he is tapped to lead.

Ambassador to the United Nations: Nikki Haley, 44

As South Carolina's governor, Haley rose to prominence when she led efforts for the divisive Confederate flag to be pulled from the state's capitol following a 2015 massacre at a historic black church in Charleston. The daughter of Indian immigrants was sharply critical of Trump during the election campaign.

Small Business Administration: Linda McMahon, 68

The wrestling tycoon and two-time Republican candidate for the US Senate from Connecticut, will now be responsible for supporting America's 28 million small businesses, which employ around half the country's private-sector workforce.

- Key non-cabinet positions -

Chief Strategist: Steve Bannon, 63

A key figure in Trump's victorious election campaign, Bannon served as executive chairperson of conservative news platform Breitbart, a favorite news source of the so-called "alt-right," an offshoot conservative movement that embraces a mixture of populism, racism and white nationalism. His appointment, which does not require Senate confirmation, has been controversial.

National Security Advisor: Michael Flynn, 57

A top military counsel to Trump, the retired three-star general, a veteran of America's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, has courted controversy with extreme statements that critics say border on Islamophobia, but has taken a more flexible line on Russia and China. The national security advisor is not formally part of the cabinet but is usually one of the president's most influential advisors.

CIA Director: Mike Pompeo, 52

A strident critic of the Iran nuclear deal, the hawkish Kansas congressman was elected in 2010 to the House of Representatives, where he was a member of the hardline Tea Party faction and one of the leaders of the controversial Benghazi Committee that targeted Trump's Democratic presidential rival Hillary Clinton.

White House Counsel: Donald McGahn, late 40s

A former commissioner and chairman of the Federal Election Commission, McGahn represents "elected officials, candidates, national state parties, political consultants, and others on political law issues," as a partner at the Jones Day law firm in Washington.

- Key positions still outstanding -

Agriculture

Interior

Veterans Affairs

Read more on:    donald trump  |  us  |  us 2016 elections

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