Keeping track of Trump's cabinet nominations

With his family at his side, Donald Trump takes the oath of office as the 45th president of the United States at the U.S. Capitol, January 20, 2017.


By STARS AND STRIPES Published: January 15, 2016

With the hearings surrounding President Donald Trump’s cabinet selections heating up, it can be difficult to keep track of where the process stands for each nominee. Check below for a brief background on each nominee and where they stand in the confirmation process.



Rex Tillerson

State Department

Tillerson, a former ExxonMobil CEO, was selected by Donald Trump as the president-elect’s choice for Secretary of State on Dec. 12. At his confirmation hearing in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Tillerson took a hard stance against China’s expansion in the South China Seas.

Status: Confirmed on Feb. 1
Replacing: John Kerry

David Shulkin

Veterans Affairs

Shulkin, the current VA undersecretary for health, was selected to lead the department on Jan. 11, 2017. Shulkin is unique among Trump’s nominations, as he already works for the department that he would be asked to run. If confirmed, Shulkin will be the first VA secretary who is not a veteran.

Status: Confirmed on Feb. 13
Replacing: Robert McDonald

James Mattis

Defense Department

Mattis, a retired Marine Corps general, was selected as the nominee to lead the Defense Department on Dec. 1. The Armed Services Committee voted to give Mattis, who retired after four decades of service in 2013, an exemption from a law that requires any defense secretary to be out of the military for at least seven years.

Confirmed directly following Trump's inauguration on Jan. 20.
Replacing: Ash Carter

Steven Mnuchin

Treasury Department

Mnuchin began serving as Donald Trump’s campaign finance chair after a long career working in the private financial sector. The long-time Goldman Sachs and Dune Capital Management financier is also part of Trump’s transition team. He was nominated for the Treasury Secretary spot on Nov. 29

Status: Confirmed on Feb. 13
Replacing: Jack Lew

Jeff Sessions

Justice Department

Sessions has been a U.S. senator from Alabama since 1997. As such, he has served on the Armed Services, Budget, Environment and Public Works and Judiciary committees. If selected, he vowed to prosecute immigrants who enter the country illegally, as well as cracking down on gun violence.

Status: Confirmed on Feb. 8
Replacing: Loretta Lynch

Ryan Zinke

Interior Department

A Navy SEAL-turned U.S. representative for Montana, Zinke has worked in government service since 1986. He was tapped to helm the office on Dec. 13.

Status: Awaiting full Senate confirmation
Replacing: Sally Jewell

Wilbur Ross

Commerce Department

Ross worked extensively in the financial world for more than four decades. He was selected to run Trump’s Commerce Department on Nov. 30.

Status: Confirmation ongoing
Replacing: Penny Pritzker

Andrew F. Puzder

Labor Department

Currently a fast-food magnate, Puzder also has a practical background in law. Trump selected him for the U.S. Secretary of Labor on Dec. 8.

Status: Withdrew from the running on Feb. 15
Replacing: Thomas E. Perez

Ben Carson

Housing and Urban Development

Carson ran a yearlong bid for the Republican presidential nomination, which he suspended after Super Tuesday. Trump selected him for this cabinet position on Dec. 5.

Status: Confirmation ongoing
Replacing: Julián Castro

Tom Price

Health and Human Services

Price has served as Georgia’s 6th Congressional District representative since 2005. His background as an orthopedic surgeon led Trump to select him for this position on Nov. 28.

Status: Confirmed Feb. 10
Replacing: Sylvia Burwell

Elaine L. Chao

Transportation Department

Chao served as President George W. Bush’s secretary of labor from 2001-2009. She was the first Asian-American woman to hold a presidential cabinet position. Trump selected her to head up the Department of Transportation on Nov. 29.

Status: Confirmed on Jan 31.
Replacing: Anthony Foxx

Rick Perry

Energy Department

Perry was the longest-standing governor of Texas, serving from 2000-2015. He also ran two unsuccessful presidential campaigns, once in 2015 and once in 2012. Trump picked Perry as his nominee to run the Energy Department on Dec 13.

Status: Awaiting full Senate confirmation.
Replacing: Ernest Moniz

Betsy DeVos

Education Department

The former chair of the Republican Party of Michigan and currently chairwoman of an investment management firm, DeVos has a long history working with the Republican Party. She was picked by Trump to lead the department on Nov. 19.

Status: Confirmed on Feb. 7
Replacing: John King

Sonny Perdue

Agriculture Department

Trump chose Sonny Perdue, a former governor of Georgia, to lead the Department of Agriculture on Jan. 18. Perdue, who earned a doctorate in veterinarian medicine, was the last of Trump’s cabinet nominations.

Status: Confirmation ongoing
Replacing: Thomas Vilsack

John F. Kelly

Homeland Security

Kelly, a recently-retired four-star Marine general, joins Mattis and Zinke as former servicemembers selected by Trump to his cabinet. As head of the department, Kelly will be largely responsible for enacting any immigration policies – such as those that formed the foundation of Trump’s campaign – that are signed into law.

Confirmed shortly after Trump's inauguration on Jan. 20
Replacing: Jeh Johnson

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