In support of Nielsen and Warsh

I write in support of Kirstjen Nielsen, President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Homeland Security, and to recommend the President nominate Kevin Warsh for Chairman of the Federal Reserve. I worked with both of them in the Bush White House, and they are in both cases the best candidates for the job.

First, a few words on Kirstjen. She worked on the Homeland Security Council staff when I worked on the National Economic Council staff. She was a skilled, effective professional who delivered results and could make cumbersome bureaucracies move. Some Cabinet secretaries play mostly public-facing roles, acting as the face and voice of the department while others do the inside management and policy work. While I think she can be an effective communicator, I support Kirstjen primarily because I know she will be a hands-on leader, driving policy (and the bureaucracies) forward to produce results. She has expertise in cyber policy and natural disasters, two important priorities for the department. She has the trust and confidence of the President’s Chief of Staff, and her stint as John Kelly’s White House deputy means she knows the President and the senior White House staff, increasing her effectiveness when she moves over to lead the department. General Kelly has McMaster at NSC, Mattis at Defense, Tillerson at State, Pompeo and Coats on intel, and he will have Nielsen at Homeland. That’s a solid and stable team that gives me confidence. In this dangerous world and with an unpredictable and sometimes volatile Commander-in-Chief, I want to have confidence in his national security team.

Nielsen’s confirmation will further increase that confidence, and I urge the Senate to quickly confirm her as Secretary of Homeland Security.

I likewise have confidence in and recommend the President nominate Kevin Warsh to be Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve Board beginning early next year. Kevin and I worked closely together for 3 1/2 years on the Bush National Economic Council staff, when he handled the financial policy portfolio. He went down the street to become a Federal Reserve Governor in early 2006, and I renewed regular contact with him from late 2007 through January 2009 during the financial crisis. I recommend him in part based on my experience working so closely with him. Kevin’s free-market instincts, his sound judgment, and his effectiveness in designing and implementing policy inspire my confidence. The President’s senior team trusted and relied […]