In the weeks following the election, President-elect Donald Trump made several important, and in some cases controversial, appointments to his cabinet and other senior roles in his administration. Several themes emerged from Trump’s selections, including his apparent preference for former military generals and CEOs of large corporations.
Secretary of State, Rex W. Tillerson – Rex Tillerson is the chairman and chief executive officer of ExxonMobil Corporation, the largest oil company and third largest company in the world, and he is Trump’s nominee to be Secretary of State, the nation’s top diplomatic post. Tillerson is known to have ties to Russia and Russian president Vladimir Putin, which has made him a controversial choice given the tense relationship between the United States and Russia.
Energy Secretary, Rick Perry – Perry is a former Texas governor who ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for president in 2012 and 2016. Perry has been nominated to lead the Department of Energy, a federal agency that he once advocated to shut down during his run for the presidency.
Secretary of Defense, James N. Mattis – James “Mad Dog” Mattis was a General in the United States Marines who led a division of men to Baghdad during the invasion of Iraq. In addition to this, Mattis led the United States Central Command from 2010 to 2013. Mattis has been a vocal critic of President Obama’s administration, and it appears that he may roll back at least two of Obama’s military initiatives: integrating women into combat roles and allowing transgender people to serve in the military.
Secretary of Labor, Andrew F. Puzder – Puzder is Trump’s expected choice for Secretary of Labor. For 16 years, Puzder has been the president and CEO of CKE Restaurants, the parent company of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. Puzder will be in charge of following through on Trump’s campaign promises to get rid of Obama’s rules covering the work force and federal contractors. He is also a vocal opponent of an increase in the minimum wage.
Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt – Pruitt ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2001, and in 2006 he was elected to serve as Oklahoma’s Attorney General. Pruitt is known to be a close ally of the fossil fuel industry, specifically Devon Energy. “I intend to run this agency in a way that fosters both responsible protecting of the environment and freedom for American businesses,” Pruitt said with respect to the EPA. Although Pruitt may want to make progress within the administration, Trump has expressed a desire to dismantle the EPA.
Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross – Ross is an investor whose net worth is estimated to be $2.9 billion. Ross would lik———-+-to impose steep tariffs on China and rid the United States of bad trade agreements. As Secretary of Commerce, Ross will oversee a variety of government divisions and functions, including the census, the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos – DeVos is a wealthy former chairwoman of the Michigan Republican party who believes in school choice. Trump would like to shrink the Education Department and shift its responsibilities to the states.
Back Page Editor