John F. Kelly

Reince is out, Kelly is in: John Francis Kelly is the new White House Chief of Staff.

Born in Boston, Kelly served in the Marine Corps and was commissioned as second lieutenant by Officer Candidates School before attending the University of Massachusetts Boston. He then received his Masters in Science from the Georgetown School of Foreign Service. 

Kelly has held numerous positions within the US Military but is perhaps best known for his various roles in the Iraq war. He headed the Task Force Tripoli, part of the first major assault on Baghdad in 2003 and later commanded the Multi-National Force West in 2007. In 2010, Kelly's firstborn Son, Robert, was killed in action while serving in Afghanistan.

In the Know

In December, 2017, then President-elect Trump nominated Kelly to head the Department of Homeland Security. He was confirmed in January, 2017. 

In April, Kelly remarked that the Department of Homeland Security hoped to begin construction on Trump's border wall by the end of the summer. He said, "This is all about securing and safeguarding the southwest border but at the same time -- and this is critical -- making sure the free flow of legal movement and people and commercial interest north and south happen. And we're dedicated to that."

2017 Headlines

When Trump unveiled his travel ban in January, there was talk that Kelly had not been informed of the decision. Publicly, Kelly maintained that he had been involved in the decision-making, even claiming he had known for at least a year that Trump had plans to implement the ban. He later said he should have delayed the ban so that members of Congress were aware it was being implemented. He said, "In retrospect, I should have, this is all on me by the way, I should have delayed it just it a bit, so that I could talk to member of congress, particularly the leadership of committees like this, to prepare them for what was coming." It's easy to see why this loyal support of the President is now being rewarded; Trump loves when people fall on their swords for him. 

On July 30, 2017, Trump announced via Twitter that he would be replacing Reince Priebus with John Kelly as White House Chief of Staff. Stay tuned for how that goes. 

Fun Fact

Okay, "fun" may not be the right word, but fans of the podcast Serial will think so: Kelly was part of the team that organized the trade of five Taliban prisoners from Guantanamo in exchange for captured Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. 

Greer Clem