A Comprehensive Guide to Donald Trump's Cabinet Picks

With just two weeks until Inauguration Day, get a personal debriefing on the men and women who will be joining Trump in the West Wing

01 of 24


Rex Tillerson
Evan Vucci/AP

Job: Secretary of State

How you know him: He's the CEO of Exxon Mobil — and has strong ties to Russia.

What people are saying: Many are skeptical of Tillerson due to his Russian connections (and friendly past with Russian President Vladimir Putin). Throughout Tillerson's career, he's negotiated several major business deals with the country, and has even been honored by Putin himself with the Order of Friendship. Tillerson also already has his own SNL doppelgänger — John Goodman, and a vote of confidence from Condoleezza Rice, the former Secretary of State for President George W. Bush, who thinks Tillerson will do a good job.

02 of 24


CPAC 2016
Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Getty

Job: Secretary of the Interior

How you know him: He's a former Navy SEAL and a member of the House of Representatives, representing Montana. He's served just one term in Congress.

What people are saying: He ran for Congress on a national security platform — and was an early supporter of Trump. His wife, Lolita, is on Trump's transition team, too. As for climate change, he says: "It’s not a hoax, but it’s not proven science either."

03 of 24


Republican Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz Campaigns In Iowa

Job: Energy Secretary

How you know him: He's the former governor of Texas, and he ran for president in both 2012 and 2016.

What people are saying: The irony in Perry's appointment is undeniable: When he ran for president in 2012, he said that, if elected, he'd do away with the Energy Department altogether. He then famously forgot Energy when he tried in a televised debate to name the agencies he would eliminate. "Oops," became his tagline then. You also saw him on Dancing With the Stars this past fall, where he lasted for three weeks.

04 of 24


Key Speakers At The Milken Institute Global Conference
Jonathan Alcorn/Bloomberg/Getty

Job: Labor Secretary

How you know him: He's the CEO of CKE Restaurants, which owns the fast food chains like Hardees and Carl's Jr.

What else to know: He's against raising the minimum wage and expanding overtime pay (an Obama administration rule that was recently blocked in court). He has made statements in favor of automation (machines are "always polite" and "never take a vacation") and those sexy Carls Jr. ads. "I like our ads," he told Entrepreneur. "I like beautiful women eating burgers in bikinis. I think it’s very American."

05 of 24


President-Elect Trump Holds Meetings At Trump Tower In New York
Drew Angerer/Getty

Job: Small Business Adminstration

How you know her: She's the former chief executive of World Wrestling Entertainment, also known as the W.W.E.

What people are saying: She's had earlier political aspirations — McMahon previously ran for the Senate in Connecticut, but lost the race. She, along with her husband, was a big Trump backer on the trail: They donated $7 million to his campaign.

06 of 24


Supreme Court Hears Arguments On The Affordable Care Act
Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg/Getty

Job: Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A.)

How you know him: He's the current attorney general for Oklahoma.

What else to know: Climate change activists are concerned, as Pruitt is a longtime foe of the E.P.A — and built a career out of suing the agency that he will now lead. His LinkedIn page reads that he's "a leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda." The Sierra Club is calling Pruitt, Perry and Tillerson the "Cabinet of Fossil Fools."

07 of 24


Marine Lt. Gen. John F. Kelly Spekas At The Annual Marine Corps Birthday Luncheon
Dina Rudick/The Boston Globe/Getty

Job: Secretary of Homeland Security

How you know him: He's a retired four-star Marine general.

What else to know: His son, Robert, who was also a Marine, was killed in Afghanistan after stepping on a landmine while on patrol. He's also tough on immigration.

08 of 24


Marine Corps General James Mattis, comma
Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis in 2011. Chris Kleponis/AFP/Getty

Job: Secretary of Defense

How you know him: He's a retired Marine general. Perhaps he's best known for leading a division of Marines into Baghdad in 2003.

What else to know: His appointment has a potential roadblock: To hold the Secretary of Defense job and lead the Pentagon, you need to be out of active service for at least seven years. Kelly retired from the military in 2013 — meaning he'll need the rules changed for his appointment to go through.

09 of 24


Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty

Job: Secretary of the Treasury

How you know him: He's a Goldman Sachs partner turned film financier, who most recently served as Trump's campaign finance chairman.

What else to know: Though he has no government experience, Mnuchin is familiar with big budget projects: He backed films like Avatar and X-Men.

10 of 24


Businessman Matt Bevin Challenges Senate Minority Leader McConnell In Primary Election
Win McNamee/Getty

Job: Transportation Secretary

How you know her: She was the Secretary of Labor in the second Bush Administration. She's also married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

What else to know: Unlike some of Trump's other cabinet picks, Chao is an undeniable member of the Republican "establishment" — she was the only George W. Bush cabinet member to last through the totality of both of his terms.

11 of 24


Sen. Orrin Hatch Meets With HHS Secretary-Nominee Tom Price At The Capitol
Mark Wilson/Getty

Job: Health and Human Services Secretary

How you know him: He's an orthopedic surgeon and six-term congressman from Georgia.

What else to know: The future leader of the nation's health agency is a strong opponent of Obamacare, abortion and providing birth control to insured women without a co-pay. On the birth control measure, he's implied it has served no benefit to women, saying “Bring me one woman who has been left behind. Bring me one. There’s not one."

12 of 24


Senator McConnell Meets With President-Elect Trump's Cabinet Nominees
Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg/Getty

Job: Secretary of Commerce

How you know him: He's a very rich investor, with an estimated net worth just shy of $3 billion.

What else to know: Like Trump, he's critical of past U.S. trade deals. He was also a big Trump donor.

13 of 24


DeVos and McConnell
Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Getty

Job: Secretary of Education

How you know him her: She's an education activist and was previously the chairwoman of the Republican party of Michigan.

What else to know: She's one of the best-known supporters of "school choice," — which allows federal and state funds to be used for other private schools

14 of 24


South Carolina Gov. Nicki Haley Speaks At National Press Club
Alex Wong/Getty

Job: U.N. Ambassador

How you know her: She's the governor of South Carolina.

What else to know: She was an outspoken Trump critic (and supported Marco Rubio) during the primaries. That didn't stop Trump, however, who said Haley is "a proven deal maker, and we look to be making plenty of deals."

15 of 24


Ben Carson
Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty. Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty

Job: Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

How you know him: He's a world-famous neurosurgeon and he ran for president in 2016.

What else to know: Carson initially denied reports that he was taking a post in the Trump administration. Armstrong Williams, one of his advisors, said: "Dr. Carson feels he has no government experience, he's never run a federal agency. The last thing he would want to do was take a position that could cripple the presidency." Makes sense — except the man ran for president last year.

16 of 24


House Select Committee on Benghazi
Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Getty

Job: Director of the C.I.A.

How you know him: He's a former Army officer and a current U.S. Representative from Kansas.

What else to know: Pompeo was extremely critical of Hillary Clinton, and led the charge on the House investigation on Benghazi.

17 of 24


Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley Meets With Trump's Attorney General Nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions
Mark Wilson/Getty

Job: Attorney General

How you know him: He's a longtime Senator from Alabama.

What else to know: One of Trump's earliest and most vocal supporters, Sessions was previously denied a federal judgeship, back in 1986, for remarks that were considered racist.

18 of 24


Federal Election Commission Meets to Choose Leaders
Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty

Job: White House Counsel

How you know him: He was the general counsel on the Trump Campaign.

What else to know: McGahn is in favor of deregulation campaign finance laws, and previously spent five years on the Federal Election Commission.

19 of 24


Michael Flynn - News
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Job: National Security Adviser

How you know him: He's a retired lieutenant general in the United States Army, was previously the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency and was a national security adviser for Trump during his campaign.

What else to know: He's outspoken about his distrust of Muslims, once tweeting "Fear of Muslims is RATIONAL", and has been called Islamophobic. Also, he's a registered Democrat.

20 of 24


Vice President-Elect Pence And Incoming White House Chief Of Staff Priebus Meet With Speaker Ryan
Mark Wilson/Getty

Job: Chief of Staff

How you know him: He's the chairman of the Republican National Committee

What else to know: The selection of Priebus, arguably the leader of the Republican "establishment," is a departure from Trump's "drain the swamp" campaign trail promise.

21 of 24


Steve Bannon
Evan Vucci/AP

Job: Chief Strategist

How you know him: He's the chairman of the right-wing Breitbart News and served as Trump's campaign chairman.

What else to know: His appointment is hugely controversial, as many cite his work at Breitbart and his own past statements as proof that he espouses racist, misogynistic and anti-Semitic views.

22 of 24


Gerald Herbert/AP

Job: Counselor

How you know her: She was Trump's campaign manager.

What else to know: Despite first saying that she wouldn't be taking on a role in the Trump administration because White House jobs are typically not family-friendly and she's the mother of four young children, she'll now serve as a counselor. She's been a trusted adviser throughout the final months of Trump's campaign.

23 of 24


Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/AP

Job: Budget Director

How you know him: He's a member of the House of Representatives, representing South Carolina's 5th district.

What else to know: He's such a stickler on budgets (and not increasing them) that Mulvaney has advocated for a government shutdown.

24 of 24



Job: Homeland Security Adviser

How you know him: He was a national security aide during the second Bush administration.

What else to know: He has a long history of working in the federal government, including a position at the Federal Emergency Management Agency. He's also run his own homeland security consulting firm.

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