The president’s Cabinet includes the vice president and the heads of 15 executive departments. The Cabinet’s role is to “advise the President on any subject he may require relating to the duties of each member’s respective office,” according to the White House. President-elect Donald Trump has made nominations for all Cabinet positions except Secretary of Agriculture. Here are Trump’s cabinet nominees:
Secretary of State
Tillerson, 64, served as chairman and chief executive officer of Exxon Mobil Corp. from 2006 until he retired in December. As secretary of state, the native Texan would be the country’s top diplomat and President Donald Trump’s chief foreign affairs adviser. Trump’s transition team has touted Tillerson’s extensive experience dealing with foreign governments as head of the world’s largest oil company. Critics have questioned Tillerson’s close dealings with Russia while running Exxon Mobil and cited his skepticism about the threats from climate change, which he acknowledged is real.
GEN. JOHN KELLY
Secretary of Homeland Security
A retired four star U.S. Marine general, Kelly, 66, most recently headed the U.S. Southern Command, which includes the Caribbean, Central America and South America. As Homeland Security secretary, he would be in charge of aviation, border security, emergency response, counternarcotics and cybersecurity, and lead 240,000 employees. In 2010, Kelly’s son Lt. Robert Michael Kelly was killed while leading a platoon in Afghanistan. Kelly has called for a balanced approach to protecting the borders, and has backed initiatives including increased aid for economic development to stem unauthorized immigration.
Secretary of Transportation
Chao, 63, served as U.S. Secretary of Labor under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2009. She would take the helm at the Transportation Department as Trump pursues plans for major infrastructure spending to rebuild bridges and roads. During her confirmation hearing earlier this month, Chao promised to work on issues including positive train control to stop trains automatically before certain types of crashes occur. She als supports public-private partnerships that use private capital to finance toll roads and projects. Chao is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)
SEN. JEFF SESSIONS
The Alabama Republican is known for strong pro-enforcement views on illegal immigration and as one of the most conservative U.S. senators. He was one of the earliest supporters of Trump. Sessions, 70, has been a senator since 1997. In 1986, Sessions’ nomination for a federal judgeship was derailed after opposition from civil rights groups and allegations he made racially insensitive remarks. In his confirmation hearing for attorney general, Sessions defended his record on civil rights. Sessions also broke with some Trump positions, saying he would reject a ban on Muslim immigration and that waterboarding was illegal.
GEN. JAMES MATTIS
Secretary of Defense
A retired Marine Corps general, Mattis, 66, served as commander of U.S. Central Command from 2010 to 2013, with responsibility for military operations in areas including the Middle East. Trump called him “a true General’s General!” after a postelection meeting. Congress approved a waiver for Mattis from a law that typically requires a waiting period before retired military personnel can become Pentagon chief. At his Senate confirmation hearing he described Russia as a “strategic competitor,” and said Russian leader Vladimir Putin is seeking to break the NATO alliance.
Secretary of the Treasury
Mnuchin, 54, is a former Goldman Sachs Group partner and hedge fund investor. He left the Wall Street bank in 2002, and in 2004 founded Dune Capital Management — named for a spot near his home in the Hamptons, according to news reports. He has invested in Hollywood blockbusters, including the “X-Men” franchise and “Mad Max: Fury Road.” He also bought assets of failed California mortgage lender IndyMac Bank during the financial crisis and rebranded it OneWest Bank. Housing advocacy groups accused the institution of foreclosing on struggling homeowners too quickly. Mnuchin has said he will sell his holdings in 43 companies and hedge funds within 90 days of his confirmation.
Secretary of Education
DeVos, 59, is a prominent political donor and an advocate for school choice and voucher programs. She also chaired the Michigan Republican Party. Trump said DeVos will be able to “break the bureaucracy that is holding our children back.” Public school advocates say she is unqualified for the post, accusing her of trying to privatize public education. Republicans at her confirmation hearing defended her as a reformer who would disrupt the status quo in U.S. education. DeVos’ husband is heir to the Amway company fortune. Her brother is Erik Prince, founder of private security contractor Blackwater.
REP. RYAN ZINKE
Secretary of the Interior
Zinke, 55, has served one term as the congressman from Montana. A lifelong hunter and fisherman, Zinke supports preservation of public access to federal lands. He opposed efforts to write into the GOP platform a policy plank for transferring federal land to states. Environmental groups have come out against Zinke, who has opposed Obama administration rules including a temporary moratorium on coal leasing on federal lands. Zinke also supports the planned Keystone XL Pipeline which runs from Canada to Nebraska and has been opposed by the Obama administration.
DR. BEN CARSON
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
A retired neurosurgeon and former GOP presidential hopeful, Carson if confirmed will oversee development of affordable housing, enforcement of fair-housing laws and access to mortgage insurance. Carson, 65, was born in Detroit and rose from poverty. Originally he had hesitated to take a cabinet position, because, an adviser said, Carson was concerned about his lack of government experience. While campaigning for president last year, Carson criticized government efforts to help the poor, but at his confirmation hearing he said, “I do believe that government is extraordinarily important.”
REP. TOM PRICE
Secretary of Health and Human Services
Price has been a Republican congressman since 2005 and is a former orthopedic surgeon. Price, 62, has been an outspoken critic of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, and has introduced bills to replace the law. In 2009, he complained that the law interfered with the ability of patients and doctors to make medical decisions. The alternative plan he has offered would give tax credits for the purchase of individual and family health insurance plans and create incentives for people to contribute to health savings accounts. Democrats including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, of New York have criticized Price’s positions on the Affordable Care Act, Medicare and Planned Parenthood.
Secretary of Labor
Puzder, 66, is the CEO of CKE Restaurants, which include the Hardees and Carl’s Jr. fast-food chains. In 2010, Puzder co-authored a book titled “Job Creation: How It Really Works And Why Government Doesn’t Understand It.” He criticized an Obama administration rule that extended overtime eligibility to more employees, saying it diminishes opportunities for workers. Puzder opposes Democratic efforts to increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said Puzder’s “business record is defined by fighting against working people.”
Secretary of Commerce
Ross, 79, is a billionaire businessman who has resurrected struggling industrial companies. He has dubbed himself the “King of Debt” for a willingness to borrow to acquire companies. At his confirmation hearing Wednesday, he said his top priority would be to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement between the U.S., Mexico and Canada. Ross also said he wasn’t interested in starting trade wars with countries. A Reuters analysis found companies controlled by Ross have moved about 2,700 jobs to other countries since 2004.
Secretary of Energy
Perry, 66, is a former Texas governor and Republican presidential hopeful who would head an agency in charge of securing nuclear assets and weapons. Once, after a long pause he’d later call his “oops moment,” Perry listed the agency as one of four he’d eliminate in order to streamline the federal government. At his confirmation hearing Thursday, Perry said his “past statements made over five years ago about abolishing the Department of Energy do not reflect my current thinking.”
Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Shulkin, 57, currently is undersecretary for Veterans Affairs, and the Obama administration member nominated for a Trump Cabinet post. Shulkin served previously as head of Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. Trump during the campaign had criticized health care for veterans under Obama, but Shulkin has been part of an effort to reform care since joining the Veterans Affairs department in July 2015. Trump has promised to allow veterans to get public or private care; current regulations allow private care only if there’s a 30-day wait for an appointment or a VA clinic is more than 40 miles away.
GEORGE “SONNY” PERDUE
Secretary of Agriculture
Perdue, 70, is a businessman who served as Republican governor of Georgia from 2003 to 2011. He has a doctorate in veterinary medicine. Perdue, who’s not related or affiliated with the poultry company, would oversee a department that manages farm subsidies, nutrition programs and food stamps. He was Trump’s final pick for the Cabinet, made Wednesday. Perdue’s cousin, Republican David Perdue of Georgia, was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2014.
Compiled by David M. Schwartz