Elaine Duke

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Elaine Duke
Elaine Duke official photo.jpg
7th United States Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security
In office
April 10, 2017 – April 15, 2018
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byAlejandro Mayorkas
Succeeded byClaire Grady (acting)
Acting United States Secretary of Homeland Security
In office
July 31, 2017 – December 6, 2017
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byJohn F. Kelly
Succeeded byKirstjen Nielsen
United States Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Management
In office
July 2008 – April 2010
PresidentGeorge W. Bush
Barack Obama
Preceded byPaul Schneider
Succeeded byRafael Borras
Chief Procurement Officer of the United States Department of Homeland Security
In office
December 5, 2005 – October 28, 2007
PresidentGeorge W. Bush
Preceded byGregory Rothwell[1]
Succeeded byThomas W. Essig[2]
Personal details
Elaine Costanzo

(1958-06-26) June 26, 1958 (age 60)
Harold Hanson (m. 2006)
EducationSouthern New Hampshire University (BS)
Chaminade University (MBA)

Elaine Costanzo Duke (born June 26, 1958) is an American civil servant and former United States Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, serving from April 10, 2017 until April 15, 2018. She became acting Secretary of Homeland Security on July 31, 2017,[4] when John F. Kelly assumed the office of White House Chief of Staff.[5] She left the acting position on December 6, 2017, upon the confirmation of Kirstjen Nielsen.[6][7]

Early life and education[edit]

The daughter of Francesco (Frank) Costanzo Duke and Concetta Scherma,[3] Duke is a native of Ohio.[8] Her maternal grandparents (Scherma) emigrated from Aidone, Sicily and her Costanzo family roots can be traced to Coreno Ausonio in the Lazio region of Italy.[3] She graduated with a B.S. in business management from New Hampshire College (now Southern New Hampshire University) and an M.B.A. from Chaminade University of Honolulu.[8][9]


Duke held a consulting practice at Elaine Duke & Associates, LLC in Woodbridge, Virginia.[10]

Duke served as Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Management at the department under both presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama from July 2008 to April 2010.[11][12] She has more than 28 years of experience with the federal government.[13]

United States Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security[edit]

On January 30, 2017, President Donald Trump announced that he would nominate Duke as United States Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security.[13] Duke's nomination received a hearing before the United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on March 8, 2017.[14] On March 15, 2017, her nomination was reported to the United States Senate.[15] On April 4, 2017, she was confirmed by a vote of 85–14.[16]

On February 23, 2018, she announced plans to retire from her position as Deputy Secretary in April of the same year, after serving in the federal government of the U.S. for over thirty years.[17][18]

Acting United States Secretary of Homeland Security[edit]

After John F. Kelly was named White House Chief of Staff on July 28, 2017, Duke was named Acting Secretary of Homeland Security.

In September 2017, in the wake of Hurricane Maria, Duke made the decision to waive the Jones Act for ten days, which requires goods shipped between points in the U.S. to be carried by vessels built, owned, and operated by Americans. The waiving of the act allows foreign nations to bring aid to Puerto Rico.[19]

During a White House news conference regarding Hurricane Maria, Duke said the government response to Hurricane Maria was "a good news story." San Juan, Puerto Rico Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz responded, "This is not a good news story. This is a 'people are dying' story."[20][21][22] Duke then traveled to Puerto Rico, met with officials at the San Juan International Airport and clarified her earlier remark by stating, "there's much more work to do, and we will never be satisfied."[23]

Personal life[edit]

In 2006, Duke married Harold Vincent Hanson, a Navy retiree. She has two sons from a previous marriage.[24]


  1. ^ https://www.historyassociates.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/US-Department-of-Homeland-Security-Senior-Leadership-2003-2008.pdf
  2. ^ https://www.historyassociates.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/US-Department-of-Homeland-Security-Senior-Leadership-2003-2008.pdf
  3. ^ a b c "Ohio Woman Confirmed Homeland Security Deputy Secretary". La Gazetta Italiana. 2017.
  4. ^ "Elaine C. Duke". United States Department of Homeland Security. August 8, 2017. Elaine Duke became the Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on July 31, 2017. She was previously sworn in as the seventh Deputy Secretary of DHS on April 10, 2017.
  5. ^ "Statement from Press Secretary Dave Lapan on Homeland Security Leadership". July 28, 2017.
  6. ^ https://www.congress.gov/nomination/110th-congress/1544?q=%7B"search"%3A%5B"Elaine+C.+Duke"%5D%7D&r=10
  7. ^ https://www.congress.gov/nomination/112th-congress/135?q=%7B"search"%3A%5B"Elaine+C.+Duke"%5D%7D&r=4
  8. ^ a b "Nomination of Elaine C. Duke to be Under Secretary for Management, U.S. Department of Homeland Security". U.S. Government Printing Office. June 20, 2008. Ms. Duke is a native of Ohio and a graduate of Southern New Hampshire University, but most importantly, she received her M.B.A. from Chaminade University in Honolulu.
  9. ^ "Elaine C. Duke". United States Department of Homeland Security. August 8, 2017. Acting Secretary Duke received her B.S. in Business Management from New Hampshire College, now Southern New Hampshire University, and her M.B.A. from Chaminade University of Honolulu.
  10. ^ "Home". www.edukeassociates.com. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
  11. ^ "Elaine Duke picked as Homeland Security deputy secretary". washingtontimes.com. January 30, 2017.
  12. ^ "Trump to nominate Elaine Duke as Homeland Security deputy secretary". reuters.com. January 30, 2017.
  13. ^ a b "President Donald J. Trump Announces Intent to Nominate Elaine Duke as Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security". whitehouse.gov. January 30, 2017. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
  14. ^ Nomination of the Honorable Elaine C. Duke to be Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, United States Senate, March 8, 2017
  15. ^ Senate of the United States: Executive Calendar, One Hundred Fifteenth Congress, March 15, 2017
  16. ^ U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 115th Congress – 1st Session United States Senate Vote Summary: Vote Number 103, United States Senate, April 4, 2017
  17. ^ Politico. "Elaine Duke, Homeland Security deputy secretary, retires". Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  18. ^ CBS News. "Deputy DHS Secretary Elaine Duke retiring". Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  19. ^ Chokshi, Niraj (September 28, 2017). "Trump Waives Jones Act for Puerto Rico, Easing Hurricane Aid Shipments". New York Times. Retrieved September 28, 2017.
  20. ^ San Juan Mayor Rebukes Trump Administration for Rosy Comments on Relief Effort, by Richard Faisset, Michael D. Shear, Ron Nixon and Francis Robles, New York Times, September 29, 2017
  21. ^ San Juan mayor hits back at Elaine Duke: ‘This is not a good-news story. This is a people-are-dying story.’ by Louis Nelson, Politico, September 29, 2017
  22. ^ San Juan mayor: 'Dammit, this is not a good news story' By Daniella Diaz, CNN, September 29, 2017
  23. ^ DHS's Elaine Duke explains 'good news story' quote, By Tal Kopan, CNN, September 29, 2017
  24. ^ "[Senate Hearing 110-946]". U.S. Government Printing Office. I have with me here today my husband, Harold Hanson, and my son, Jason. My older son, Brian, is not able to be with us, but all three of them have been so supportive throughout my career and I thank them this morning.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Russell Deyo
United States Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security
Succeeded by
Claire Grady
Preceded by
John F. Kelly
United States Secretary of Homeland Security

Succeeded by
Kirstjen Nielsen