Published: 2020-02-21 22:58
Last Updated: 2020-02-21 23:07
The Jordanian Julia Nesheiwat will serve as President Donald Trump’s homeland security adviser, U.S. sources reported on Thursday, February 20.
Nesheiwat currently serves as Florida’s Chief Resilience Officer.
She has previously worked as the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources implementing policies in energy, water and critical infrastructure protection.
Nesheiwat’s resume also includes leading interagency initiatives at the federal level, developing public-private partnerships to promote U.S. investment opportunities and advancing national security and environmental interests.
She will replace U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Peter Brown who was moved out of his role just six months after taking the job.
Nesheiwat will work under National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien who she previously served with at the State Department.
Nesheiwat was the U.S. presidential deputy envoy for hostage affairs and later was acting envoy when O’Brien left the department. The department helped accomplish one of Trump’s top priorities, freeing dozens of American hostages.
She’s also the longtime partner of U.S. Rep. Mike Waltz, though that relationship does not appear to have been a factor in her latest appointment.
In Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration, Nesheiwat focused on natural disaster preparedness and disaster response. She also worked on infrastructure improvement plans.
“Dr. Nesheiwat’s more than 20 years of experience operating at the highest levels of government and academia focusing on renewable energy, environmental and critical infrastructure issues make her an excellent choice for this position. She has a proven track record of public, private and military service that will serve Florida well,” DeSantis said of Nesheiwat when she was first appointed to her state role.
Nesheiwat has been integral in resiliency efforts as the state has faced major challenges with hurricanes, that includes her work with Florida ports.
“Florida is ground zero when it comes to resiliency. … It’s important that we take action and influence positive change,” Nesheiwat told port leaders earlier this month. “Seaport resiliency is important. We must plan ahead and put on that resiliency mindset.”
Nesheiwat was spotted at the Daytona 500 last week where Trump was also in attendance.
A former U.S. Army captain, Nesheiwat has expertise in military intelligence and served a tour in Baghdad as a political-military and operations adviser to Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq head L. Paul Bremer, according to Politico.
Nesheiwat, who holds a Ph.D. from the Tokyo Institute of Technology, also previously served as chief of staff for policy in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence under former President George W. Bush’s administration.
She worked at the State Department for seven years, eventually becoming assistant secretary for energy.
Nesheiwat’s dissertation focused on disaster reconstruction and energy technology and resiliency. She also holds a master’s degree in national energy security from Georgetown University.
In addition to her work in government, she has been a visiting professor at the Naval Post Graduate School on Energy & Environmental Security and a lecturer at University of California San Diego and Stanford University.