Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Elaine Duke will leave the Trump administration in April after serving a year in the department that included a stint as acting secretary.
Duke’s tenure as acting secretary was not always smooth. She faced scrutiny for her response to the devastating hurricane that hit Puerto Rico when she called the recovery a “good news story” and reportedly felt pressured by White House chief of staff and former Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to revoke an immigration status for thousands of Hondurans, an experience that left her expressing a desire to leave.
Duke stayed on after Kirstjen Nielsen was confirmed as secretary in December, ending her run as acting secretary since Kelly went to the White House in July. Having been confirmed by the Senate in April 2017, Duke will have had a year of service in the Trump administration when she retires. Before her nomination, Duke had been working in the private sector after decades as a civil servant.
“Elaine has selflessly served the federal government for three decades, and this Department for more than 10 years spanning multiple secretaries,” Nielsen said in a statement. “The department greatly benefited from her expert knowledge and understanding of DHS issues – particularly with respect to procurement, personnel and management.”