Kirstjen Nielsen, President Donald Trump's nominee to be the next secretary of Homeland Security, speaks during an event in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Evan Vucci

U.S. Rep. John Katko supports President Donald Trump's nominee to lead the Department of Homeland Security. 

Katko, R-Camillus, released a statement Thursday calling Kirstjen Nielsen "a fine choice" to serve as homeland security secretary. 

"Her vast knowledge of cybersecurity issues and experience at the Department of Homeland Security will serve the department well as she leads efforts to keep our country safe," he said. 

Trump announced this week that he would nominate Nielsen to fill the vacant position. The president's first homeland security secretary, John Kelly, left the agency to become White House chief of staff. 

Nielsen was Kelly's top aide at the White House and held the position of principal deputy chief of staff. She was Kelly's chief of staff during his brief tenure as homeland security secretary. 

Her prior experience includes a stint as senior legislative policy director for the Transportation Security Administration, an agency within the Department of Homeland Security, in President George W. Bush's administration. She also was senior director for prevention, preparedness and response at the White House Homeland Security Council. 

Outside of her government experience, Nielsen founded Sunesis, a security consulting firm. 

Katko, who is a member of the House Homeland Security Committee and chairman of the Subcommittee on Transportation and Protective Security, believes Nielsen will be an excellent leader for the department. 

"As we continue to address and confront a myriad of ever-evolving threats on (the committee), I look forward to working with Ms. Nielsen at the helm of DHS," he said. "I urge the U.S. Senate to act swiftly and in a bipartisan manner to confirm her to this role."