President Donald Trump on Wednesday nominated White House Deputy Chief of Staff Kirstjen Nielsen to be the next secretary of homeland security.
If confirmed, Nielsen would succeed White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, who served as head of the Department of Homeland Security for just over six months before replacing Reince Priebus as chief of staff July 31.
Elaine Duke has been filling in as acting DHS secretary in the meantime.
Nielsen would be the first former DHS staffer to lead the department, which was created by former President George W. Bush in 2003.
Nielsen had served as Kelly's deputy at DHS and followed him to the White House when he replaced Priebus. Her departure from the White House would leave Kelly looking to fill another crucial administrative vacancy.
Neilsen is an expert in homeland and national security policy. She previously worked as a special assistant to George W. Bush and for the Transportation Security Administration.
In a New York Times profile last month, Nielsen was described as "brusque" and "no-nonsense." The piece claimed that some in the administration had "chafed under a woman asserting power -- and made her a target for the anger that they can not express at [Kelly]."
Fox News' John Roberts and the Associated Press contributed to this report.