Executive Branch

Featured Member of the Executive Branch for Prayer

Kirstjen Nielsen, White House Deputy Chief of Staff

Kirstjen Nielsen graduated from the Georgetown University of Foreign Service with a B.S. in Foreign Service. She earned a Juris Doctor at the University of Virginia School of Law. She also studied at the Nanzan University Center for Japanese Studies in Nagoya, Japan.

She is the founder and president of a consulting firm that deals in risk and security management. She guides government and private sector entities in identifying and understanding emerging threats and risk trends and provides a global perspective to support the development and adoption of best procedures to ensure resilience in the face of evolving risk.

She was appointed Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Risk and Resilience, and serves as a civilian expert for NATO. Nielsen has served as a special assistant to the president for Homeland Security in the George W. Bush Administration, and also held positions at the Transportation Security Agency and the U.S. Senate.


Kirstjen Nielsen is a longtime aide to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly. She now functions as his “gatekeeper” in what has been described as a “little-noticed bureaucratic earthquake.”

Nielsen handles much of the daily operations within the White House, and some administration officials paint a picture of those who oppose Kelly as being furious about Nielsen helping him tighten his grip. Nielsen enforces Kelly’s standards for meetings, which often entail excluding some aides who had gotten used to wandering in and out of the Oval Office.