Kirstjen Nielsen, formerly the White House deputy chief of staff and US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) chief of staff, was sworn in as the new US homeland security secretary.

The swearing in came after the US Senate confirmed Nielsen by a 62-37 vote, narrower than the 88-11 confirmation vote for John Kelly, who served as homeland security secretary for the first six months of the Trump administration. Kelly resigned in July to become White House chief of staff.

Nielsen served as Kelly’s chief of staff at DHS before following him to the White House.

Elaine Duke has been serving as acting DHS secretary since July. Nielsen becomes the sixth secretary in DHS’s history.

Kelly was on hand at Nielsen’s Dec. 6 swearing-in ceremony. While Nielsen’s close ties to the White House are being touted as a bonus, some senators voting against her confirmation expressed their concern that she did not have enough independence from Kelly and US President Donald Trump.

“Airports rely on collaborative relationships with [DHS] and the Transportation Security Administration and US Customs and Border Protection to promote effective security measures and efficient passenger movements through their facilities,” Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) president and CEO Kevin Burke said following Nielsen’s confirmation. “Airports look forward to working with [Nielsen] to further expand risk-based initiatives that address complex security and passenger facilitation challenges in the world’s busiest aviation system.”

Aaron Karp