MEET THE NEW EXECUTIVE BRANCH: Here’s who Trump has appointed to senior leadership positions

President-elect Donald Trump has a lot of key positions to fill in the coming weeks that will shape his next four years in office.

While rumors have been flying around about who he will appoint (some of which we’ve included here), Trump has so far only made five official hires.

We’ll update this list as he announces more senior leadership positions, but here’s what we know so far:

Reince Priebus, chief of staff

Foto: Republican president-elect Donald Trump and Reince Priebus embrace during his election night event in New York City. source Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Obama administration counterparts: Rahm Emanuel, Pete Rouse, Bill Daley, Jack Lew, Denis McDonough (current)

Duties: oversee the Executive Office of the President, serve as the president’s right-hand man

Priebus’ former job: Chairman of the Republican National Committee

Bio:Priebus, 44, got his law degree from the University of Miami in 1998. He worked his way up through the ranks of the Republican Party, becoming the Wisconsin Party Chairman in 2007, then general counsel to the National Committee in 2009, and finally its chairman in 2011. Priebus helped launch Wisconsinites House Speaker Paul Ryan and Gov. Scott Walker to national prominence over the last several years. He has two young children with his wife, Sally.

Reactions: While Priebus’ hire may comfort the Republican establishment, it may aggravate some of Trump’s supporters who expect him to fulfill his promise to “drain the swamp” of Washington insiders in government.

Steve Bannon, chief strategist

Foto: Steve Bannon at Trump Tower in New York. source AP Photo/ Evan Vucci

Obama administration counterpart: Valerie Jarrett

Duties: serve as senior counselor to the president,shape the administration’s political strategy

Bannon’s former jobs: chairman of the alt-right news site Breitbart, CEO/chief strategist of the Trump campaign

Bio: Bannon, 62, graduated from Harvard Business School in 1983, and made much of his fortune as a Goldman Sachs banker and a longtime movie and TV producer. Since 2011, he has led Breitbart News, the far-right website espousing anti-establishment white nationalist positions, particularly on issues like immigration and trade. Bannon has two 21-year-old daughters, whose mother accused him of domestic abuse and anti-Semitic comments during their divorce proceedings in 1996. He pleaded not-guilty, and the charges were dropped. He has another ex-wife, as well.

Reactions: Bannon’s appointment set off a firestorm of controversy, with critics pointing to what they considered racially charged, bigoted rhetoric used on Breitbart under Bannon’s leadership.

Sen. Jeff Sessions, attorney general (pending Senate confirmation)

Foto: Jeff Sessions speaks at the Republican National Convention in July. source AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Obama administration counterparts: Mark Filip, Eric Holder, Loretta Lynch (current)

Duties: act as the country’s chief law enforcement officer, represent the US in court cases, provide the Executive Branch with formal and informal legal counsel and advice

Sessions’ former job: senator from Alabama

Bio:Sessions, 69, was born and raised in Alabama, got his law degree from the University of Alabama in 1973, and served in the Army Reserve for 13 years. President Ronald Reagan nominated him as a US attorney in 1981, then he was elected as Alabama’s attorney general in 1994, and was first elected to the Senate in 1996. He is currently serving his fourth term. Sessions and his wife, Mary Blackshear, have three children and 10 grandkids.

Reactions: Sessions’ consideration for a Cabinet position has revived allegations of racism that jeopardized his chance to become a federal district court judge in 1986, when a prosecutor testified Sessions called the NAACP and the ACLU “un-American.” Incoming Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said he is “very concerned” about Sessions’ civil rights record, a sentiment other liberals echoed. Many conservatives, meanwhile, applauded Trump’s choice, with Republican senators saying they’d vote to confirm him.

Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, national security adviser

Foto: Donald Trump and Michael Flynn. source John Locher/AP Photo

Obama administration counterparts: James Jones, Thomas Donilon, Susan Rice (current)

Duties: Provide the president’s daily national security briefing; coordinate the administration’s foreign policy, intelligence, and military efforts

Flynn’s former jobs: director of the Defense Intelligence Agency

Bio: Flynn, 58, joined the Army as a second lieutenant in military intelligence when he graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 1981. Serving at home and abroad, Flynn worked his way up the ranks of the armed forces, eventually becoming the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2012. The lieutenant general retired from the position in 2014. A registered Democrat, Flynn became an early supporter of Trump’s, advising the president-elect on national security matters during the campaign. He and his wife, Lori, have two sons.

Reactions: Flynn has been criticized for being anti-Islamic, for his questionable business ties to Turkey’s increasingly authoritarian president, for what some see as his overly positive views toward Russia, and for promoting conspiracy theories on Twitter during Trump’s campaign. He was also accused of being too hawkish when he was DIA director, which is why a former Pentagon official alleged Flynn was forced out of the agency.

Rep. Mike Pompeo, CIA director (pending Senate confirmation)

Foto: Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo. source Thomson Reuters

Obama administration counterparts: Leon Panetta, Michael Morell (acting), David Petraeus, John Brennan (current)

Duty: oversee the Central Intelligence Agency

Pompeo’s former job: US Representative for Kansas

Bio:Pompeo, 52, graduated first in his class from West Point in 1986, then served as a cavalry officer in the Army. After returning from active duty, Pompeo graduated from Harvard Law School in 1994, where he served as an editor of the Harvard Law Review. Pompeo moved to Kansas, where he founded and helmed aerospace and oil manufacturing companies. He has been the US Representative for Kansas’s 4th congressional district since 2011. The tea-party-aligned House member originally supported Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida in the GOP presidential primary, but eventually endorsed Trump once the business mogul secured the nomination. He and his wife, Susan, have a son, Nicholas.

Reactions: Several Republican lawmakers praised Pompeo’s directness, expressing confidence in his ability to lead the CIA. Pompeo has been criticized for anti-Muslim remarks he’s made in the past – scrutiny that reemerged after Trump announced his appointment.

Gov. Nikki Haley, United Nations Ambassador (pending Senate confirmation)

Foto: Nikki Haley. source REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Obama administration counterparts: Susan Rice, Rosemary DiCarlo, Samantha Power (current)

Duty: Advance US interests at the United Nations.

Haley’s former job: Governor of South Carolina

Bio: Haley, 44, was born to Indian immigrant parents in South Carolina, where she graduated from Clemson University with a degree in accounting in 1994. She worked at Exotica International, an upscale women’s clothing firm her mother, Raj Randhawa, founded that became a multi-million dollar business (which the family retired in 2008). Haley ousted an incumbent for a South Carolina House of Representatives seat in 2004, and was reelected for two more terms. The state then elected her its first female governor in 2010, and doubled down in the 2014 election. Haley and her husband Michael, a captain in the Army National Guard, have two teenage children.

Reactions: Some diplomats criticized Haley for her lack of experience on the world stage since she has never held a position in the federal government. Democratic senators said she would get a “thorough” confirmation hearing, but that they would give her fair consideration.

Betsy DeVos, secretary of education (pending Senate confirmation)

Foto: President-elect Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos pose for photographs at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. source AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File

Obama administration counterparts: Arne Duncan, John King, Jr. (current)

Duties: Lead the US Department of Education, manage federal financial aid policies, ensure equal access to education.

DeVos’ former job: chair of the nonprofit American Federation for Children

Bio: DeVos, 58, graduated from Calvin College in 1979, held various leadership positions in the Michigan Republican Party before becoming its chairwoman from 1996 to 2000. President George W. Bush appointed her to the board of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2004, which she served on until 2010. DeVos has also served on various charity and company boards that she and her husband, Dick, an heir to the Amway fortune, founded, including the Windquest Group, which invests in clean energy and manufacturing. In 2009, she became the chair of the American Federation for Children, a nonprofit that aims to expand the use of school vouchers allowing students to use public funds to attend private schools. The DeVos’ have four children and five grandchildren.

Reactions: While proponents of school vouchers have predictably lauded Trump’s pick, its opponents have lambasted DeVos, arguing that the programs weaken public schools and fund private schools at taxpayers’ expense. Teachers’ unions have similarly criticized her for not understanding the public school landscape since she sent her children to private schools.


The following positions are rumored contenders:

(Contenders) Treasury Secretary, pending Senate confirmation

Foto: source Yuri Gripas/Reuters; Samantha Lee/Business Insider

Steven Mnuchin, former Goldman Sachs Group Inc executive and Trump’s campaign finance chairman

Jeb Hensarling, US representative from Texas and chairman of the House Financial Services CommitteeJamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase & Co chief executive officerTom Barrack, founder and chairman of Colony Capital Inc

(Contenders) Secretary of State, pending Senate confirmation

Foto: U.S. President-elect Donald Trump shakes hands with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney after their meeting at the main clubhouse at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, U.S., November 19, 2016. source Thomson Reuters

Mitt Romney, 2012 Republican presidential nominee and former Massachusetts governorRudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York CityNikki Haley, governor of South CarolinaJohn Bolton, former US ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. BushBob Corker, US senator from Tennessee and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations CommitteeZalmay Khalilzad, former US ambassador to Iraq

(Contenders) Defense Secretary, pending Senate confirmation

Foto: Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) (R) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) hold a news conference to talk about imposing more sanctions against Iran at the U.S. Capitol January 21, 2016 in Washington, DC. source Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Tom Cotton, US senator from ArkansasJon Kyl, former US senator from ArizonaDuncan Hunter, US representative from California and early Trump supporter, member of the House Armed Services CommitteeJim Talent, former US senator from Missouri who was on the Senate Armed Services CommitteeKelly Ayotte, outgoing US senator from New Hampshire and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee

Retired Marine Gen. James Mattis

(Contenders) Health and Human Services Secretary, pending Senate confirmation

Foto: Rick Scott. source AP Photo/Chase Stevens

Tom Price, US representative from Georgia who is an orthopedic surgeonRick Scott, Florida governorRich Bagger, former pharmaceutical executive and former top aide to New Jersey Governor Chris ChristieBobby Jindal, former Louisiana governor

(Contenders) Homeland Security Secretary, pending Senate confirmation

Foto: Joe Arpaio. source AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File

Michael McCaul, US representative from Texas and chairman of the House Homeland Security CommitteeDavid Clarke, Milwaukee county sheriff and vocal Trump supporterJoe Arpaio, outgoing Maricopa County, Arizona, sheriff who campaigned for Trump

(Contenders) Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, pending Senate confirmation

Foto: Leslie Rutledge. source Win McNamee/Getty Images

Jeff Holmstead, energy lawyer, former EPA official during George W. Bush administrationMike Catanzaro, energy lobbyist, former EPA official during George W. Bush administrationRobert Grady, venture capitalist, partner in private equity firm Gryphon InvestorsLeslie Rutledge, Arkansas attorney generalCarol Comer, commissioner of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management

(Contenders) Energy Secretary, pending Senate confirmation

Foto: Harold Hamm source AP Images

Harold Hamm, Oklahoma oil and gas mogul, chief executive of Continental Resources IncKevin Cramer, US Representative from North DakotaRobert Grady, venture capitalist, partner in private equity firm Gryphon InvestorsLarry Nichols, co-founder of Devon Energy CorpJames Connaughton, chief executive of Nautilus Data Technologies and a former environmental adviser to President George W. Bush

(Contenders) Interior Secretary, pending Senate confirmation

Foto: Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, left, endorses Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a rally at the Iowa State University, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016, in Ames, Iowa. source Mary Altaffer/AP

Sarah Palin, former Alaska governor, 2008 Republican vice presidential nomineeJan Brewer, former Arizona governorForrest Lucas, founder of oil products company Lucas OilHarold Hamm, Oklahoma oil and gas mogul, chief executive of Continental Resources Inc

(Contenders) Commerce Secretary, pending Senate confirmation

Foto: World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. CEO Linda McMahon and her husband, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, appear in the ring at the WWE Monday Night Raw show in Las Vegas, Nevada on August 24, 2009. source Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Wilbur Ross, billionaire investor, chairman of Invesco Ltd subsidiary WL Ross & CoLinda McMahon, former World Wrestling Entertainment executive and two-time Senate candidate

(Contenders) Director of National Intelligence, pending Senate confirmation

Foto: James Clapper, the current Director of National Intelligence under President Obama, testifies during a Senate Armed Services Committee meeting on February 26, 2015 in Washington, DC. source Evy Mages/Getty Images

Ronald Burgess, retired lieutenant general and former Defense Intelligence Agency chiefRobert Cardillo, director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence AgencyPete Hoekstra, former US representative from Michigan

(Contender) US Trade Representative, pending Senate confirmation

Foto: In this March 12, 2009, file photo President Barack Obama greets Dan DiMicco, CEO of Nucor, one of the world’s largest steelmakers, after speaking to the Business Roundtable association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies at a hotel in Washington. source AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

Dan DiMicco, former chief executive of steel producer Nucor Corp

(Contenders) Labor Secretary, pending Senate confirmation

Foto: Mexican Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for North America Geronimo Gutierrez, second left, and Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment Standards Victoria Lipnic, third right, exchange documents after signing the Letter of Agreement Concerning Wage and Hour Laws and Regulations Applicable to Mexican Workers in the United States, during a ceremony at the Department of Labor, Wednesday, July 21, 2004, in Washington. source AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Victoria Lipnic, US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission commissioner and former Labor Department official during the George W. Bush administrationAndrew Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants

(Contenders) Supreme Court vacancy, pending Senate confirmation

Foto: Sen. Mike Lee in Miami. source REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

1. Keith Blackwell

2. Charles Canady

3. Steven Colloton

4. Allison Eid

5. Neil Gorsuch

6. Raymond Gruender

7. Thomas Hardiman

8. Raymond Kethledge

9. Joan Larsen

10. Mike Lee

11. Thomas Lee

12. Edward Mansfield

13. Federico Moreno

14. William Pryor

15. Margaret A. Ryan

16. Amul Thapar

17. Timothy Tymkovich

18. David Stras

19. Diane Sykes

20. Don Willett

21. Robert Young

Sources: Donald J. Trump, Business Insider

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