December 21, 2016 / 11:28 PM / 7 months ago

Factbox - Trump fills top jobs for his administration

12 Min Read

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump pauses as he talks to members of the media after a meeting with Pentagon officials at Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., December 21, 2016.Carlos Barria

(Reuters) - U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday named Peter Navarro, an economist who has pushed a hard line on China, to head a newly formed White House National Trade Council, the transition team said in a statement.

Senate confirmation is required for all the posts except national security adviser, White House chief of staff, directors of the White House National Economic Council and the White House National Trade Council, and White House strategist.

The following is a list of Republican Trump's selections for top jobs in his administration:

Secretary of State: Rex Tillerson

Tillerson, 64, has spent his entire career at Exxon Mobil Corp, where he rose to serve as its chairman and CEO in 2006. A civil engineer by training, the Texan joined the world's largest energy company in 1975 and led several of its operations in the United States as well as in Yemen, Thailand and Russia. As Exxon's chief executive, he maintained close ties with Moscow and opposed U.S. sanctions against Russia for its incursion into Crimea.

Treasury Secretary: Steven Mnuchin

Mnuchin, 54, is a successful private equity investor, hedge fund manager and Hollywood financier who spent 17 years at Goldman Sachs (GS.N) before leaving in 2002. He assembled an investor group to buy a failed California mortgage lender in 2009, rebranded it as OneWest Bank and built it into Southern California's largest bank. Housing advocacy groups criticized the bank for its foreclosure practices, accusing it of being too quick to foreclose on struggling homeowners.

Defense Secretary: James Mattis

Mattis is a retired Marine general known for his tough talk, distrust of Iran and battlefield experience in Iraq and Afghanistan. A former leader of Central Command, which oversees U.S. military operations in the Middle East and South Asia, Mattis, 66, is known by many U.S. forces by his nickname "Mad Dog." He was in 2005 rebuked for saying: "It's fun to shoot some people."

u.s. Attorney General: Jeff Sessions

Sessions, 69, was the first U.S. senator to endorse Trump's presidential bid and has been a close ally since. Son of a country store owner, the Alabama senator and former federal prosecutor has long taken a tough stance on illegal immigration, opposing any path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

Interior Secretary: Ryan Zinke

Zinke, 55, a first-term Republican representative and a member of the House subcommittee on natural resources, has voted for legislation that would weaken environmental safeguards on public lands. He has taken stances favouring coal, which suffered during the Obama administration. The League of Conservation Voters, which ranks lawmakers on their environmental record, gave Zinke an extremely low lifetime score of 3 percent.

Commerce Secretary: Wilbur Ross

Ross, 79, heads the private equity firm W.L. Ross & Co and Forbes has pegged his net worth at about $2.9 billion. A staunch supporter of Trump, Ross helped shape the Trump campaign's views on trade policy. He blames the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico, which went into force in 1994, and the 2001 entry of China into the World Trade Organization, for causing massive U.S. factory job losses.

Labor Secretary: Andrew Puzder

Puzder, chief executive officer of CKE Restaurants Inc [APOLOT.UL], which runs the Carl's Jr. and Hardee's fast-food chains, has been a vociferous critic of government regulation of the workplace and the National Labor Relations Board. Puzder, 66, has argued that higher minimum wages would hurt workers by forcing restaurants to close and praises the benefits of automation, so his appointment is likely to antagonize organised labour.

Health and Human Services Secretary: Tom Price

U.S. Representative Price, 62, is an orthopedic surgeon who heads the House Budget Committee. A representative from Georgia since 2005, Price has criticized Obamacare and has championed a plan of tax credits, expanded health savings accounts and lawsuit reforms to replace it. He is opposed to abortion.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary: Ben Carson

Carson, 65, is a retired neurosurgeon who dropped out of the Republican presidential nominating race in March and threw his support to Trump. A popular writer and speaker in conservative circles, Carson previously indicated reluctance to take a position in the incoming administration because of his lack of experience in the federal government. Carson is the first African-American picked for a Cabinet spot by Trump.

Transportation Secretary: Elaine Chao

Chao, 63, was labour secretary under President George W. Bush for eight years and the first Asian-American woman to hold a Cabinet position. She is a director at Ingersoll Rand, News Corp and Vulcan Materials Co. She is married to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky.

Energy Secretary: Rick Perry

Perry, 66, adds to the list of oil drilling advocates sceptical about climate change who have been picked for senior positions in Trump's Cabinet. The selections have worried environmentalists but cheered an oil and gas industry eager for expansion. Perry, who also briefly ran in the 2016 presidential race, would be responsible for U.S. energy policy and oversee the nation's nuclear weapons program.

Education Secretary: Betsy Devos

DeVos, 58, is a billionaire Republican donor, a former chair of the Michigan Republican Party and an advocate for the privatisation of education. As chair of the American Federation for Children, she has pushed at the state level for vouchers that families can use to send their children to private schools and for expansion of charter schools.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary: John Kelly

The final leadership role of Kelly's 45-year military career was head of the U.S. Southern Command, responsible for U.S. military activities and relationships in Latin America and the Caribbean. The 66-year-old retired Marine general differed with Obama on key issues and has warned of vulnerabilities along the United States' southern border with Mexico.

White House Chief of Staff: Reince Priebus

Recently re-elected to serve as Republican National Committee chairman, Priebus will give up his party post to join Trump in the White House, where the low-key Washington operative could help forge ties with Congress to advance Trump's agenda. Priebus, 44, was a steadfast supporter of Trump during the presidential campaign even as the party fractured amid the choice.


An ardent opponent of President Barack Obama's measures to stem climate change, Oklahoma Attorney General Pruitt, 48, has enraged environmental activists. But he fits with the president-elect's promise to cut the agency back and eliminate regulation that he says is stifling oil and gas drilling. Pruitt became the top state prosecutor for Oklahoma, which has extensive oil reserves, in 2011 and has challenged the EPA multiple times since.

Office of Management and Budget: Mick Mulvaney

U.S. Representative Mick Mulvaney, 49, a South Carolina Republican, is a fiscal conservative. He was an outspoken critic of former House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, who resigned in 2015 amid opposition from fellow Republicans who were members of the House Freedom Caucus. Mulvaney was first elected to Congress in 2010.

u.s. Ambassador to the United Nations: Nikki Haley

Haley, 44, has been the Republican governor of South Carolina since 2011 and has little experience in foreign policy or the federal government. The daughter of Indian immigrants, she led a successful push last year to remove the Confederate battle flag from the grounds of the South Carolina state capitol after the killing of nine black churchgoers in Charleston by a white gunman.

Small Business Administration Administrator: Linda Mcmahon

McMahon, 68, is a co-founder and former chief executive of the professional wrestling franchise WWE, which is based in Stamford, Connecticut. She ran unsuccessfully as a Republican for a U.S. Senate seat in Connecticut in 2010 and 2012 and was an early supporter of Trump's presidential campaign.

Cia Director: Mike Pompeo

U.S. Representative Pompeo, 52, is a third-term congressman from Kansas who serves on the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, which oversees the CIA, National Security Agency and cyber security. A retired Army officer and Harvard Law School graduate, Pompeo supports the U.S. government's sweeping collection of Americans' communications data and wants to scrap the nuclear deal with Iran.

National Security Adviser: Michael Flynn

Retired Lieutenant General Flynn, 57, was an early Trump supporter and serves as vice chairman on his transition team. He began his Army career in 1981 and was deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq. Flynn became head of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2012 under President Barack Obama but retired a year earlier than expected, according to media reports, and became a fierce critic of Obama's foreign policy.

National Economic Council Director: Gary Cohn

Cohn, 56, president and chief operating officer of investment bank Goldman Sachs (GS.N), had widely been considered heir apparent to Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of the Wall Street firm. Trump hammered Goldman and Blankfein during the presidential campaign, releasing a television ad that called Blankfein part of a "global power structure" that had robbed America's working class.

National Trade Council Director: Peter Navarro

Navarro, 67, has suggested a stepped-up engagement with Taiwan, including assistance with a submarine development program. A professor at University of California, Irvine, who advised Trump during the campaign, Navarro argued that Washington should stop referring to the "one China" policy, but stopped short of suggesting it should recognise Taipei: "There is no need to unnecessarily poke the Panda."

Secretary of the Army: Vincent Viola

Viola, 60, is a West Point graduate and U.S. Army veteran who served in the 101st Airborne Division. He founded high-frequency trading firm Virtu Financial Inc and served as chairman of the New York Mercantile Exchange, where he began his financial services career. After the Sept. 11, 2001, al Qaeda attacks on New York and Washington, Viola helped found the Combating Terrorism Center at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He is an owner of the Florida Panthers ice hockey team.


The former head of the conservative website Breitbart News came aboard as Trump's campaign chairman in August. A rabble-rousing conservative media figure, he helped shift Breitbart into a forum for the alt-right, a loose confederation of those who reject mainstream politics and includes neo-Nazis, white supremacists and anti-Semites. His hiring signals Trump's dedication to operating outside the norms of Washington. As White House chief of staff, Bannon, 63, will serve as Trump's gatekeeper and agenda-setter.

Reporting by Washington Newsroom

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